When a couple who have children end their marriage, the court must review multiple issues regarding the children. Some of these issues include how parenting time will be divided, how decision making about the children will be divided, and if child support is appropriate. Child support is funds paid by one parent to the other to help cover the expenses of caring for the child. Usually it is the parent who has the majority of parenting time with the child who receives the support.
Child support can be just as acrimonious as child custody. It is not uncommon for the parent who has to pay the support to resent the court-ordered payments because they feel that they are paying their ex money instead of realizing that the money is going to help support their child. If your ex is not cooperating with child support payments, consider calling a family law attorney to find out what legal options you may have.
The Cost of Raising a Child
Having a child or children in the home increases household expenses compared to if the parent lived alone. First of all, there is the need to have a bigger home because of the need for extra living space. This means that the parent’s mortgage or rent will be more, as will the utility bills. The parent may also need a larger vehicle – and one that is dependable and well-maintained for safety reasons. Other expenses include:
• Basic necessities: Children need food, clothing, healthcare items not covered by health insurance.
• Entertainment: In order to foster emotional growth, children need toys, books, films, etc.
• Educational needs: In addition to school supplies, which can be expensive, children may also need tutoring and funds for field trips and extracurricular activities.
• Childcare: Childcare expenses can either be paid for by child support or the court may also consider this a separate expense that both parents need to share the cost of. Child support can also be used to pay for occasional babysitting services if the custodial parent is going out for the evening and needs someone to watch the children.
In addition to daycare expenses, other expenses that the court may consider separate are medical insurance and any medical expenses not covered by insurance. Couples who are divorcing should also include in their parenting plan how college expenses should be addressed. Otherwise, one parent may end up footing all the expenses if there is no order from the court directing the other parent to also contribute.
Child Support Attorney Help
Child support attorneys can help clients obtain a child support order, request modification of a current order, or help collect back child support that is owed to them. Contact our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how we can help.