Parenting is an immersive activity and one that needs a lot of hands-on work with training seldom available. This can be compounded when you separate from your partner and fellow parent, especially in terms of finances. Have a look at the tips below for a summary of three important questions you may have concerning child support.
What Does Child Support Cover?
Each state has a specific set of guidelines that govern the expenses, but generally, all basic needs for the child should be covered. Beyond these basic needs, child support could also be used to pay for other expenses that come with parenting. Such needs are costs related to extracurricular activities, child care, school tuition fees, and others. More expenses like buying uniforms or instruments and paying for summer camp may be put into consideration. The child’s medical expenses must also be thought about. For example, with things like orthodontics which are a requirement for between 25% to 50% of children.
Can The Child Support Expenditure Be Challenged?
The paying parents are generally not in a position to dispute the expenditure of the funds they provide. This is aggravated by the fact that custodial parents are not required to track all of their spendings, making it hard to prove that the child support amount is being misused. An exception can be made in cases whereby the custodial parent is neglecting the well-being and health of the child to a degree that can be proved.
An extreme example would be an instance whereby the custodial parent went on an expensive vacation while the child went without food and other basic needs. In such a case, the court or child services may be persuaded to do an investigation of how the money is being used. Since child support is payable up until the time the child turns 21, it’s important to find out well in advance what expenses would be necessary and know the rules that govern the whole process. In case of anything warranting action from the courts, you will be aware of the possible ways things could play out.
Considerations for Child Support Cover
Before the courts determine the amount of child support that a spouse has to pay for the upkeep of their child, the following factors are considered:
- The parent’s current income and their ability to pay the amount
- The child’s financial needs
- The amount of support that’s necessary to maintain the child’s current standard of living when possible
While the stipulated child support is not often possible to negotiate, sometimes it may be necessary to amend. One of these instances is when a child’s needs change, for example, when they develop a health complication that calls for additional money for the maintenance of their health needs. Another situation is when the paying parent experiences a significant change in their situation, for instance, when they lose a job. In such cases, it’s important to act fast to modify the support offered. This way, the courts have enough time to evaluate the evidence and come to a decision.
The custodial parent should never take advantage of the amount they are receiving and misappropriate it. This stands for buying property as well. With 42% of people buying vacation homes planning on using their property to vacation in or as a retreat for the family, this is generally not an acceptable use for child support. If you can purchase the property without financial assistance, or if both of you agree to it, then it’s okay to proceed with the purchase.
Child support is a touchy subject, but knowing the technicalities involved with it makes it possible to avoid pitfalls while providing your child with a good life. Parenting should be focused on providing the best in terms of the child’s interests, so put all your differences aside for the good of your child, and they will be happy.