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What are child support payments intended to cover?

Knowing what expenses child support is intended to cover is important for parents to be familiar with. What child support is intended to cover can vary by state so it is important for parents to know what expenses are included in child support in their state.

What is child support intended to cover?

In general, child support is intended to cover the basic needs of the child. This includes food, clothing and shelter or housing. In addition, depending on the circumstances, child support can be intended to cover:

  • Basic necessities for the child;
  • Medical care for the child;
  • Educational fees for the child;
  • Childcare;
  • Transportation/travel for the child;
  • Entertainment for the child;
  • Extracurricular activities for the child; and
  • College expenses for the child.

Can child support be modified?

What happens when life changes and more child support is needed or the paying parent loses their job and is struggling to pay their child support? It may be possible to modify child support based on a significant change in circumstances for either the child or parent. This could include unemployment for the parent or if the child’s medical needs change, as examples. Either parent can request that the child support order be modified. No change is official until the family law court approves of the change however.

Changes to child support can be important for both children and parents. Parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children which is why they should understand how the child support process works.

 

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