What Does Child Support Cover, Exactly? (Part 1)

child support attorney Mesa ArizonaThere is often a misconception about what expenses child support is supposed to cover. Some may think it is only supposed to take care of a child’s bare necessities such as food and clothing. While each state has their own rules and laws regarding how child support is allocated, many factors are considered by the courts on what is paid for and how much is given toward it. Here are some of the things that child support is commonly used for:

Basic Necessities
This includes food, clothing and shelter. The child support given should at least be going toward groceries, snacks, and other food items, along with shoes, jacket and appropriate clothing for the child. It may also be used to put toward living costs for the custodial parent, such as mortgage or rent, and utility bills.

Uninsured Medical Expenses
Another cost that child support may go toward is uninsured medical expenses, also considered to be extraordinary expenses. This may include out-of-pocket medical costs that exceed the cost covered by a basic health insurance plan, including co-pays, deductibles and surgery costs. Child support may also sometimes be used to cover these kinds of expenses, as well as other including braces, casts, eye care and other special health care needs, especially if the child has existing special medical needs.

Medical Care
Of course children will require basic medical care, and most states require one or both parents to carry a form of health insurance for their child. If only one parent is required to hold health insurance in the child’s name, it is usually the one with better employee-covered benefits.

Entertainment
Many child support courts will hold that a child is entitled to basic entertainment which could include access to computers, TV programs, games and the Internet among other things. These costs could include child’s-age appropriate entertainment desires as agreed on between each parent.

Read more in Part 2