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What is child support intended for?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Child Support

Child support will often be ordered in divorce cases where one parent earns more money and/or has less physical custody time. The support order helps to balance out discrepancies in how much each person has to invest in raising the child. Estimates indicate that it costs roughly $332,000 to raise a child until they are 18, so getting child support can be very significant.

One area where disputes sometimes arise, though, is in how child support is supposed to be used. The parent who is paying may feel that the money isn’t being used appropriately. What does the court intend to cover with child support?

A wide range of expenses

There is no strict list of things that child support can and cannot be used for. The goal is to use it to provide the best possible living situation for the child, and that money should be spent on the child. However, as long as it is covering the child’s expenses, it could be used for things like:

  1. Purchasing new school clothes 
  2. Buying other types of school supplies, like books or materials 
  3. Paying educational or tuition costs 
  4. Purchasing food, groceries and related necessities 
  5. Paying for a portion of utilities or housing used by the child
  6. Helping to cover necessary transportation costs
  7. Paying for extracurricular activities, like summer camps or sporting events 
  8. Covering medical or healthcare costs 
  9. Providing additional support for the child if they have special needs

These give you an idea of how child support should be used and what it is intended to accomplish. Parents often have to absorb many daily costs while simply raising the child, and the support payments can help to provide them with some level of reimbursement.

In some cases, disputes will arise regarding how much child support should be paid. There can also be issues when a co-parent fails to make child support payments. At these times, it’s important for those involved to understand what legal steps to take.


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