Child Support Payments: What Do They Cover?

Child smiling while parents discussNon-custodial parents or those who are ordered to pay child support usually wonder where their money goes when they send support payments each month. The main purpose of child support payments is to ensure that children would be provided with the same lifestyle they’re accustomed to before their parents separated. Take note that its purpose isn’t to equalize the shared income of the former partners or spouses.

What Child Support Payment Covers

Basic support payments, calculated by the court according to supporting spouse’s income and custody time, is used for covering living expenses including food, shelter, and clothing, explains a child support lawyer from the Law Office of Gordon N. Shayne in Colorado Springs.

However, entertainment or extracurricular expenses such as school trips, summer camps, music or sports lessons and equipment, are not usually included in support calculations. But courts might consider ordering the supporting spouse to send more funds for these expenses if the income of the supporting spouse is sufficient to also provide for them.

Additionally, most states might increase the support payments to cover specific expenses that are becoming increasingly necessary to enable the custodial parent to rejoin the workforce and cover the child’s healthcare costs. This might cover health insurance coverage, daycare, as well as uninsured health care costs. The exact amount would vary from one case to another since these costs differ greatly on certain circumstances and location.

It’s likewise crucial to note that custody or parenting time has a substantial impact on child support payment amounts. Whenever non-custodial parents visit or take their child under their roof, they’re basically contributing to the food and shelter provided during those instances, essentially reducing the support amount. The court would also consider other factors such as if the supporting parent has another child in the household or is sending support for another child.

How Do You Know if the Custodial Parent is Using the Support Payment?

Unfortunately, since a custodial parent isn’t required by the court to send accounting reports for their spending, it’s possible that he or she could spend the support funds on personal wants and needs. If you strongly believe that this is the case, you must inform the court immediately.

However, do note that the court won’t probably do anything unless there’s proof that the needs of your child are really being neglected or ignored. At most, the court would order you and your ex to mediation so that you could try to resolve your issues.

That being said, if you have any issues regarding your child support payments, seek help from an experienced child support lawyer to know your options.