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What Does Child Support Cover?

What is Child Support Suppose to Cover? The question often arises as to the purpose and uses of child support.  First, child support generally does not cover uncovered medical, dental and orthodontic expenses and agreed upon extracurricular activities including sports and summer camps.  These expenses are generally divided pursuant to the percentage of combined income used to calculate child support. Child support is generally paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent.  This presumes that the custodial parent incurs the majority of costs associated with raising the child(ren).  Those regular and routine costs include:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • School fees
  • School lunches
  • Daycare expenses
  • Ordinary extra-curricular activities

A shared parenting plan with both parents having over 40% of the time will often give rise to a modification of the child support schedule, still utilizing parties' incomes.  In addition to income, this modification also depends on both the amount of time as well as who pays for the expenses. This is only a guideline and individual courts may vary.  It has been created by Michael W. Bouldin to assist parents to resolve their differences and give guidance to local court practices Transportation of the child(ren) for exchange is usually on a 50/50 basis.  Transportation costs is for the custodial parent to take the child to and from school and extra-curricular activities. If the child(ren) had been attending private school during the marriage, the presumption is that the private school is in the child(ren)'s best interest and the Court will routinely divide the cost according to income.  If the child(ren) are before school age or have attended public school, it is presumed that public school is in best interest.  At that point, if either party chooses to enroll the child(ren) in private school, they shall bear the full expense unless otherwise agreed by the parties. Ordinary is the normal sign-up and equipment fees associated with normal extra-curricular activities.  If the costs exceed $100 (i.e. ice skating or select/travel sports teams) and has been done prior to parties separating, these fees are usually evenly divided between the parties.  If they are "new" activities, the party signing the child up generally incurs the fees.

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