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What can child support be used for?

When parents in California and elsewhere decide to end their marriage, it is clear to them that their relationship with their child and the dynamic of that relationship will be impacted. While child custody is an important factor to establish during dissolution, it is also imperative that parents take the time to ensure the financial wellbeing of a child. Because of that, some divorcing parents request child support payments.

What can child support be used for? While many are under the impression that child support payments are used to only cover the bare necessities for a child, this support obligation can cover much more than food and clothing. In fact, child support is designed to cover a broad range of expenses, which tend to includes medical, educational fees, entertainment and extracurricular activities.

Each state in the U.S. has developed guidelines when it comes to determining the amount of child support awarded. However, courts are able to take into consideration certain factors when it comes to establishing an order for a parent to pay child support. This includes considering a parent's income and his or her ability to pay child support.

Those receiving child support obligations should understand what these payments could be used for. This includes basic necessities, medical care, uninsured medical expenses, educational fees, childcare, transportation and travel, entertainment, extracurricular activities and even college expenses. In contrast, those paying child support should understand the circumstances that could allow them to modify or terminate child support obligations. If a substantial change in circumstance has impacted a parent's ability to meet their child support obligations, he or she could seek modification.

Parents dealing with this or another family law issue should understand their rights and options. This not only ensures that these legal orders are properly entered into, but it also protected the best interests of the child or children involved.

Source:, "What Does Child Support Cover?" accessed Oct. 22, 2017

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