Parents all too often assume that child support should only cover food and clothing – but the truth is child support is meant to do much more than that. In fact, child support is designed to cover multiple expenses, including school activities, supplies, medical bills, housing, extracurricular activities, and more.
Florida has very strict guidelines for child support – and these guidelines determine each parent’s responsibilities. The goal is to agree on an amount that supports the child fairly. Additionally, the amount is based on how much parenting time each parent has with the child.
The courts do not require parents to prove where child support goes unless one parent complains the other isn’t meeting the needs of the child. Regardless of whether you are paying child support or receiving it, it is important to understand its purpose – and it may even cease any animosity between you and your partner once you realize just how much it is supposed to cover.
Food, Shelter, and Clothing
First come the necessities, which include clothing, food, and shelter for your child. Child support should go toward groceries for the child, beverages, purchasing clothes, and paying for the child’s share of shelter within their primary home.
Child support also includes medical care. If you and your ex both have the child on your insurance plans, then a portion of insurance will not be added to child support. But, if one parent supports the child on insurance, then the other may be required to pay a portion of that premium as part of their child support payment.
Also, the amount of child support granted is meant to go toward other medical costs, including prescription medications, copays, etc.
Education-related fees, such as books, school supplies, uniforms, tuition, etc. are part of the child support. If your paperwork states that the couple will both split this in addition to the child support, then be prepared to pay your share of these expenses in addition to child support.
Often child support includes childcare costs. In some cases, the parent paying child support may be required to pay half of the childcare costs on top of their monthly child support payment – as childcare needs may change on a monthly basis (such as a child needing extra care in the summer).
Speak to Your Miami Family Law Attorney to Learn More about Child Support
Whether you are paying or receiving child support, you should understand its purpose. Meet with a Miami family law attorney to discuss your case, learn more about child support or even find out how much you are likely to pay or receive in your case.