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What Does Child Support Cover?

When a couple with children splits up or divorces, one party will typically be ordered to pay child support. Child support is money paid from one parent to another to financially support children. This amount varies based on several factors such as the income of both parents, the standard needs for the child, and the child’s health care and childcare costs.

Many parents do not feel like child support really pays for their child’s needs, but it is supposed to. While the money is not given directly to the child, it is given to the custodial parent so they can pay for the child’s needs without having to struggle. The goal is to ensure that parents are not relying on government programs to pay for their child’s expenses. Child support is meant to pay for essentials such as housing, electricity, water, and food. As mentioned above, child support also pays for health insurance and child care expenses.

Child support generally covers direct expenditures of the child, so clothing and extracurricular activities are often included. Some of the funds may also cover a portion of costs for the house the child lives in and automobile costs for the car the child rides in. If a child has extensive medical needs, such as a chronic health condition or disability, that will likely be factored into the child support amount as well.

Certain expenses may not be covered under child support, even though some parents may wish they were. These expenses may include private school, tutoring, travel, cars, and other unnecessary items that the child or custodial parent may want. The law does not provide for any of these expenses under child support. The parents will have to bear these costs on their own.

Does Child Support Pay for College?

Under Florida law, child support typically ends at the age of 18. However, if your child has not graduated high school by their 18th birthday, child support will continue until graduation.

Because of this rule, parents often wonder if they will be ordered to pay for college. Generally speaking, no. Florida law has no requirement or duty for parents to assist in paying college tuition. However, the court will enforce a written agreement that involves funding college. For example, if parties agree to a marital settlement agreement to pay college expenses, this is an enforceable contract. So you can choose to pay for college, but make a wise decision in this regard.

Contact Our West Plam Beach Child Support Attorneys Today

Child support is often a contentious area of family law. Unfortunately, many parents do not feel they should be ordered to pay it.

Whether you are paying child support or receiving it, a West Palm Beach family law attorney Brian K. McMahon, P.A. can help you get a fair outcome. Family law issues are challenging. We can help relieve your stress. To schedule a consultation, call (561) 658-1789 or fill out the online form. We serve the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Port St. Lucie, and South Florida areas.