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Child support is for more than food and clothes

Child support payments are supposed to give the child clothes, food and other necessities. However, some parents believe that is all they should provide. That is not the case.

The popularity of this idea may stem from the fact that child support is supposed to be used exclusively for the child, not for the parent. Some parents who pay are very concerned that the other parent will neglect the child and use the money for himself or herself. That money is intended for the child.

However, bare necessities are not always enough. Child support is supposed to pay for the cost of raising a child. The range of things it can get used for is very broad. Most costs that a child brings into a parent's life will qualify. This may include:

  • The cost of school: Many parents put their children into schools that charge tuition, and school also comes with many related costs, such as school supplies, field trips and more.
  • Medical bills: Children suffer injures. They get sick. They wind up in the hospital. Child support can help offset these costs.
  • Entertainment: Children are supposed to enjoy their lives. Many entertaining activities and pastimes are anything but free. Married parents share the costs, and divorced parents should too.
  • Extracurricular activities: Kids who play sports need uniforms and other important gear and equipment. Students in band need expensive instruments. Children in drama club need rides to and from practice and performances. As with entertainment, children's activities are not free.

These are just a few examples, but they show why both parents need to know exactly where they stand when it comes to child support payments and the cost of raising a child.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed May 25, 2018

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