What Does Child Support Cover?
In nearly every divorce between parents, a child support order is part of the divorce settlement. This is the court order that requires one parent to make payments to the other to help cover the costs of raising a child. It is not uncommon for a parent to be curious about how the support he or she pays is used, especially if it does not outwardly appear that the children are benefiting from these payments. If you suspect that your former spouse is not using your child support payments appropriately, talk to your lawyer about potentially modifying your child support order or parenting plan. Violating a court order is contempt of court, and if you can demonstrate that your former partner willingly violated his or her child support order, he or she can face legal consequences.
Child support covers a broad range of needs. Basically, it can be used to help with any costs your child incurs for your former spouse. These costs generally fall into the following categories:
Your Child’s Medical Needs
One parent is required to include the child on his or her healthcare insurance plan. If this parent is the one who receives child support, the money received can be used to help offset insurance costs like copays and premiums. Child support can also be used to cover a child’s uninsured medical needs, like the need for over-the-counter medication.
Your Child’s Day-to-Day Care
Child support can be used to pay the rent or mortgage on the home he or she shares with a parent. It can also be used to pay for utilities and insurance for the home as well as the goods used within the home, like groceries and personal items.
The child support you pay can also be used to cover childcare and transportation costs for your child. Other types of day-to-day care your child support can cover includes your child’s clothing and within reason, his or her entertainment. This can mean toys, activities, and specialized entertainment like summer camp. Entertainment costs can vary wildly. Generally, courts recognize that children are entitled to some type of entertainment for their mental and emotional stimulation.
Your Child’s Extracurricular Activity Costs and School Supplies
The child support you pay also covers your child’s school-related costs, such as tuition to private school, school uniforms, school supplies, and additional expenses like lunch money and special fees for class trips and other enrichment. If your child is involved in an extracurricular activity, such as a sport, scouting, or a club at school, your child support can also be used to help cover the expenses associated with this extracurricular activity.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Family Lawyer
To learn more about child support orders in Illinois, such as how they are calculated and how to modify yours, set up your legal consultation with an experienced Kane County family lawyer at Shaw Sanders, P.C. We can answer any questions you have and act as your advocate as you work to establish an appropriate child support order for your children. Call us at 630-584-5550 for help.