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What Does Child Support Cover? All You Need to Know

Posted by LEISA WINTZ | Jul 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

A photo of a small child counting money

What does child support cover in Florida? Does child support cover extracurricular activities? What does child support not cover? Child support is a crucial aspect of family law that aims to ensure the financial well-being and proper care of children. When parents separate or divorce, the noncustodial parent is often required to make regular monetary contributions to support the upbringing of their child. Child support serves as a means to provide for a child's essential needs, including housing, food, clothing, education, healthcare, and other related expenses. It is a legal obligation that seeks to prioritize the best interests of the child and maintain a level of financial stability in their life. Understanding the intricacies of child support is essential for both custodial and noncustodial parents, as it affects the overall welfare and future of the child. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of child support, what it covers in Florida and what expenses are not part of it.

What Does Child Support Cover?

Child support typically covers the following expenses:

  1. Basic Needs: Child support helps cover essential expenses such as food, clothing, and shelter. These basic needs ensure that the child has a safe and comfortable living environment.
  2. Medical Care: Child support also helps cover medical expenses, including health insurance premiums, doctor visits, prescription medications, dental care, and vision care. It is important to ensure that the child's healthcare needs are met.
  3. Education: Child support contributes to the child's educational needs, including school tuition, books, supplies, and other related expenses. It helps provide the necessary resources for the child's academic development.
  4. Childcare: Child support may cover the cost of daycare or after-school care if the custodial parent requires assistance while working or attending school. This allows the child to receive proper supervision and care in the parent's absence.
  5. Extracurricular Activities: In some cases, child support can also cover extracurricular activities, such as sports, music lessons, art classes, or other hobbies, that contribute to the child's physical, intellectual, or social development. However, the inclusion of these expenses may vary depending on the state and the specific child support order.

What Does it NOT Cover?

While child support covers many essential expenses, it's important to note that it does not cover all costs associated with raising a child. Here are some expenses that are typically not covered by child support:

  1. Extraordinary Expenses: Extraordinary expenses, such as major medical procedures or specialized treatments, may not be fully covered by child support. These expenses often require additional financial arrangements between the parents or may be subject to separate court orders.
  2. Parenting Time Expenses: Child support is separate from expenses incurred during visitation or parenting time, such as transportation costs for visitation exchanges or travel expenses. These expenses are typically the responsibility of the parent exercising parenting time.
  3. Non-Essential Items: Child support generally does not cover non-essential items or luxury expenses beyond the child's basic needs. These include items such as expensive designer clothing, high-end electronics, or extravagant vacations.

Child support calculations and coverage vary from state to state within the United States. In Florida, for example, child support guidelines consider the child's needs and the parents' income to determine the appropriate amount of support. It's important to consult with a family law attorney or refer to the specific guidelines in your state to understand how child support works in your jurisdiction.

In navigating the complexities of child support and understanding what it covers, seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney can provide invaluable assistance. A family law attorney can help ensure that your child's best interests are protected and that the child support arrangement is fair and in accordance with the applicable laws and guidelines. If you have questions, concerns, or need legal representation regarding child support matters, we encourage you to reach out to a reputable family law attorney who can provide personalized advice and advocacy. Your child's future deserves the attention and expertise of a skilled legal professional by your side. Take the first step today and contact us to schedule a consultation.

About the Author


Leisa Wintz originally began her career as a marriage and family therapist. Ms. Wintz went on to attend law school and started practicing family law in 2009. However, she quickly realized that many family law practices lacked the empathy and compassion she believed were necessary in order to achi...


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