Are you struggling to pay your bills as a single parent?
Do you often feel like you do not get as much child support as you deserve?
Does the court battle for child support seem scary?
Child support is the compensation provided to the parent who has been granted custody of the child/children, by the parent who has the means to provide for the expenses that are a part of raising a child. Strict fines and sometimes imprisonment can be a result of a parent not paying child support.
The Court of law having jurisdiction decides on the payments to be made, which is done considering the income of both parents.
Let us quickly answer the most important question “ What does child support cover? ”
Who Is Eligible For Child Support?
There are certain requirements or eligibility criteria for child support. The following people fulfill those and are thus eligible for child support.
- The parent has been granted custody of the child by the court.
- A caregiver to the child.
- A legal guardian of the child.
- An agency appointed by the government to look after the child.
- There are certain states where the parents of the children who have been kept in foster care have to pay child support to the government.
What Does Child Support Cover?
The extent and the content of child support vary from state to state, as well as depending on the capacity of the parent allocated with the obligation. In the 21st Century, there are a million things you need to consider when you are a parent, all of which revolve around what is best for your child.
However, there are some basic aspects that child support should legally cover. These might be termed typical expenses, and they are.
The basic necessities of a child are no different from the rest of ours. A child needs nutritious food, proper clothing, and a safe shelter that is comfortable. It is sad that a lot of children in the world do not have this option.
Child support shall cover any expense that is a result of these basic necessities, which may include:
- Electricity bill.
- Telephone bills.
- Other utility bills.
- Grocery bills.
- Clothing items bought.
- Any expense of the child on these lines.
The parent with health insurance that has greater coverage or one that is covered by the employer is typically the one who has been given the responsibility to pay for medical expenses incurred by the child.
Medical expenses may include:
- Doctor’s visits.
- Medication costs.
- Costs of surgery.
- Vaccination charges.
- Any expenses along these lines.
If the medical insurance does not cover certain things such as the cost of getting braces or glasses, in such cases, child support (pecuniary-monetary) can be used to cover such expenses.
It is common knowledge that education costs money. Even if your child happens to attend a public school or is home-schooled, there is a certain expense that goes into the little things.
Let us talk about:
- Lunch money,
- School uniform,
- Private tutors,
- Anything along these lines.
All of these mentioned above are to be covered by child support as these are essential to a child’s education.
Are College Expenses A Part Of The Education Cost?
In certain cases, child support may be used to pay for the college fee of the individual. College is most of the time pretty financially draining. An individual is found paying off his student debt from college even after he’s 40 in some instances.
For this reason, the Court has on numerous occasions felt that the child or their future should not suffer due to their parent’s going through a separation. The states that consider college expenses to be a part of child support also consider that the parent that has not been granted custody should be the one bearing college expenses.
When both parents or the legal guardian are working people, daycare facilities, nannies, and babysitters are a constant go-to. Child support should cover all of the above and more childcare facilities.
In order to ensure that your child gets to their schools, parks, or daycare facilities safely, a safe mode of transportation has to be used. These can be public or private. Since these expenses are borne to take care of your child, child support may include them.
Entertainment And Extra Curricular Activities
The court has on multiple occasions held extracurricular activities such as camps, summer trips, games, sports, and even outdoor social activities like boy and girl scouts. Expenses originating out of all of the above can be met with child support.
What Does Child Support Cover? What Else Is There To Know
The amount of the types of expenses that are to be included in child support may be decided by the Court by considering the following things,
- The income of the parent paying child support and of the one that is not paying is considered.
- The financial requirements of the child. Each child is unique and each of their needs is, too.
- The child may be accustomed to or could have grown up with a certain standard of living. That is also sometimes taken into consideration.
What Does Child Support Not Cover?
There are some expenses that child support does not usually extend to. Each case is different and depends mainly on the parent’s capability and financial assets.
Child support may in certain cases not include:
- Expenses from Private School.
- Expenses from Private Colleges.
- Sports expenses.
- Recreational activities.
- The expense of buying cars.
- Expenses of car insurance.
- College fees are sometimes excluded as well.
Still, Confused About What Child Support Can Cover?
This article was meant to give you a complete and general idea about the expenses that child support can cover. However, state-wise laws on child support may vary. Let me give you some examples.
What Does Child Support Cover In Texas?
Child support in the state of Texas can cover the following.
- Medical expenses.
- Some entertainment and other reasonable expenses.
What Does Child Support Cover In Illinois?
Child support in Illinois covers the following.
- Food, clothes, and safe shelter.
- Basic education costs.
- Health insurance.
- Childcare costs.
- Medical bills.
- Visitation transport costs.
- Extracurricular activities.
- College expenses if the judge deems fit.
What Does Child Support Cover In Florida?
Child support in Florida covers the following.
- Food, clothes, and safe shelter.
- Medical costs.
- Travel and entertainment.
Reach Out To Us!
Child support can be tricky with all the trouble that the parents go through during the process of separation. It is difficult for the children as well. Child support aims to ease things for the child by making sure that their basic needs are met and that they get proper education to build a good future for themselves.
The separation or the divorce can be harsh but both the lawmakers and the court is responsible for justice being done to the children in such difficult times.
If this article has left any questions relating to child support unanswered, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below!