What child support may be used for in Florida

Contrary to a popular misconception, child support is not designed in order to just meet a child's most basic necessities. Although these types of expenses are certainly included, the child support guidelines consider a broad range of expenses for children. Child support amounts are set in order to help pay for this broad range.

Child support amounts will be set in order to help pay for a child's shelter, food and clothing. This is the category about which most people think when they think of how child support may be used. This can include money to help pay for rent, utilities and other associated shelter costs for the child. Medical care and unreimbursed medical expenses are also normally considered in determining ordered child support amounts. These can include extraordinary expenses that are greater than the amounts covered by insurance for the child.

Child support may also be needed to pay for educational-related expenses such as school fees, supplies, lunch bills, tutors and other associated costs. Transportation costs are also appropriate for child support, as the safe transportation of a child is important. This can include maintenance costs, gas bills and other costs. Some states have held that entertainment expenses may be covered by child support, as can the costs associated with extracurricular program participation. Child care expenses may be payable with child support in order to allow the parent the ability to work or attend school. Finally, some states will also include college expenses for the child.

Parents who have additional expenses associated with providing care for their child may wish to consult with a family law attorney concerning whether they need to request higher child support amounts. Even if a parent is already receiving a base amount, it is possible to request an increase if a parent has extraordinary additional expenses for their child's care.

Source: Findlaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?", December 29, 2014

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