Research conducted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement, a federal agency, has revealed that unpaid child support can amount to sums as high as $100 billion collectively. This number is staggering, but it shines a light on just how many parents are forced to raise kids without the support they need. If you are in the midst of child support negotiations, you may benefit from understanding what payments do and do not cover.
Some parents imagine child support payments will be used to fund optional activities and expensive extracurriculars. The truth, however, is that extracurricular activities such as sports and dance classes are typically excluded from child support calculations. Parents are not responsible for the expense of these programs or the cost of supplies such as uniforms, footwear or sports accessories. Though there have been exceptions, it is unusual for costs such as these to be included in payment calculations.
Vacations and entertainment
Similarly, there is no built-in calculation for vacations and entertainment. These expenses are generally given to the custodial parent, and if you are making support payments, the funds will be assigned for use toward essential expenses. You do not need to worry about funding trips, luxurious outings or entertainment such as concerts and movies. These items are rarely accounted for in payment negotiations, and they are typically viewed as optional expenses.
Medical care and medication
If your child requires special medical care or medication, it will certainly be a burden of expense, but typically it still will not be included in calculations for child support. Routine medical expenses and exceptional care alike are usually excluded from child support calculations, but in some cases, a parent may be asked to contribute additional funds to lessen the burden. There are options available if this is the case.
College tuition and expenses
When a child enrolls in college, neither parent is legally responsible for the expenses. Though the idea of contributing to a college fund is nice, it is not a workable option for many parents, and it is certainly not a requirement. It is a common misconception that parents paying support are obligated to cover educational expenses, but this is not the case. Costs for tuition, fees, housing and textbooks typically cannot be calculated into child support payments.
If you are dealing with child support and fighting for a fair calculation, it can be a frustrating situation. Contacting a lawyer may provide the support and repres entation you need.