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What Expenses Does Child Support Cover?


Many parents who owe and receive child support have questions about what those funds can be used for. Fortunately, parents can generally use these checks in any way that benefits their child, although the cost of providing, clothing, shelter, and housing should take precedence. To learn more about how to utilize child support payments or to speak with an attorney about how your own child support payments are being used by your child’s other parent, please reach out to our experienced Fort Lauderdale child support attorneys today.

Providing Food and Housing

In addition to covering the cost of groceries, snacks, and other basic food items, a portion of child support payments is usually allocated to the cost of housing the child, which could include a share of:

  • Monthly rent payments;
  • A mortgage payment;
  • A homeowners’ insurance premium;
  • Utility bills; and
  • The cost of home repairs.

Whether child support can be used also depends on how the funds will benefit the child in question. If, for instance, a parent needed to make structural changes to a home because of a child’s disability, those costs would typically fall under child support expenses. Similarly, paying monthly rent or a part of a mortgage payment qualify as necessary expenses. Using child support to make renovations to the exterior of a home, however, won’t usually be permitted, as it doesn’t benefit the child in a meaningful way.

Transportation and Education Costs

Caring for a child also often requires significant transportation costs related to getting a child to and from school, extracurricular activities, social events, and the home of the child’s other parent. For those who primarily use their own car to perform these functions, child support can often go towards part of the cost of a car payment, auto insurance premiums, and the cost of gas and routine maintenance. Engaging in these activities also comes at a cost, so parents are generally permitted to use child support to pay for school fees, supplies, uniforms, tuition, lunch, and tutors. Similarly, these payments can help cover the cost of extracurricular activities, like sports, after school programs, and summer camps.

Non-Essential Expenses

While courts expect parents to use the majority of child support to cover the cost of important expenses like food and shelter, they also understand that to live a full and engaged life, a child must also participate in social activities and have access to entertainment like television and computers. For these reasons, courts usually allow parents to use child support payments to pay for child age-appropriate entertainment, such as the cost of admission to movie theaters and amusement parks, as well as camping trips, summer camps, and even the internet.

Connect with an Experienced Child Support Lawyer Today

If you are grappling with a child support matter and have questions about your rights and obligations, please schedule a free consultation with dedicated Florida child support attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to learn more. We can be reached at our office at 954-945-7591 or via online message.

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