Child Support Payments Don’t Cover Everything

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Determining who gets custody of the kids after the divorce is one of the most challenging aspects of family law.  It’s difficult for separating parents to make a fair decision about what’s best for the whole family, especially the kids.  Along with the decision regarding who keeps the kids, a divorcing couple must confront child support.

Child support is the money that the secondary parent pays to the primary parent to assist with financial needs and the necessities of raising a child. But, conflict often arises with child support and exactly what the payments are supposed to cover.

According to an article from the Huffington Post, even the maximum child support doesn’t support the extra costs that some primary parents consider the essential to raising the kids.  As a result, primary parents fight hard for more child support and it seems like the parent paying child support gets off with a better deal.

In order to avoid additional and unwanted conflict after the divorce is final, it is vital to plan for child support with your ex-spouse and what it will cover. If you’re the primary parent, be aware that in some cases you might have to pony up extra cash for your child’s extracurricular and enriching activities — legally, child support is only required for the essentials necessary to keep a child alive and educated.

When negotiating a divorce, it’s important to consider some of the “extras” that child support legally doesn’t cover but that increase a child’s opportunities tenfold.  Discussing and planning with your spouse and their lawyer beforehand might enable a smoother process and reduce the chance of conflict after the divorce is over.

Below is a list of the most common “extra” expenses that child support doesn’t cover, but might be negotiated between parties:

For younger children:

  • Daycare         
  • Afterschool care       
  • Babysitters or full-time Nannies    

For school-age children, extracurricular activities:

  • Registration, uniforms, and equipment fees of sports     
  • Private lessons for instruments, voice, dance, tennis, etc.           
  • Recital fees and costumes   
  • Academic tutoring    
  • Enrichment camps   

High school and post-high school undertakings:

  • First car and car insurance 
  • College funds
  • Wedding funds        

For more information about expenses that are and are not covered by child support in the state of California, contact an experienced family law attorney near you. At Julie Clark, Attorney at Law we know how stressful determining child custody and support can be — don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns regarding your divorce.

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About Julie Clark

Julie M. Clark graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. She has been practicing law in Riverside County since February of 1992. Julie Clark's Google+ Profile

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