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What should be covered by child support?

When it comes to calculating child support, especially for high earners, one of the most common issues that comes up is "yes — but should child support really pay for that?" While it can be a tough pill to swallow for those writing the checks, the blow may be somewhat softened knowing that the range of things that may legitimately be covered by child support according to the law is quite extensive. Many conflicts over child support stem from a misunderstanding of who child support is for. Ultimately, even though it is paid to a parent, child support is the right of the child, and should be used across many areas of the child's upbringing.

Of course child support is intended to facilitate many basic areas of living — shelter, food and clothing — but support does not end with these basic needs, and may legitimately cover surprising elements of them. The law does not consider it inappropriate for child support to go toward related costs like utility bills or a mortgage. Using child support to cover medical costs is also well within the scope of the law.

Child support may also be used to cover educational, extracurricular and entertainment expenses. This can mean tangental costs like transportation, extending to the vehicle maintenance and car payments, to things that may seem frivolous on their face, like movie tickets, or trips with a child. In the early years, it is common for child support to be used to cover child care expenses.

Of course, child care is often used by the former partners of high-earners as a substitute for their own income. Like we mentioned earlier, child support is the right of the child, not the parent. If you have questions about child support and fair payment calculation, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you explore your legal options and protect your rights.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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