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How Much Does Child Support Cover?

Many people find their wedding day to be the most enjoyable day of their lives. They’re surrounded by the people they love most, and it’s a beautiful occasion that marks a new chapter. While most of us dream of settling down and starting a family, not all marriages last forever. It’s not uncommon for former spouses to encounter issues regarding child support. It’s essential to work with a divorce lawyer after ending a marriage so you can get the compensation you’re entitled to. Let’s explore the key information you should know about child support and how much it covers.

What Determines Child Support?

There’s no shortage of factors that determine how much you need to pay in child support. Some of the most notable include:

  • Both spouses’ annual income
  • The needs of the child
  • Taxes
  • Health insurance
  • Daycare costs

It’s virtually impossible to predict what someone will pay in child support without assessing their situation. To clarify, just because one spouse makes over $100,000 per year doesn’t mean they’ll pay X amount per month. Both spouses could make plenty of money, meaning the individual who has primary custody won’t need much support from their former partner. The judge is the final decider on how much you pay, and they’ll consider the above factors.

Depending on the situation, they might also consider auxiliary details. These could include owned assets or investments.

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What Does Child Support Cover?

Child support covers certain aspects of the child’s life. Understanding these will help ensure you don’t encounter surprises as your case progresses. Let’s explore some of the most notable.

Food and Clothing

Child support must cover food and clothing for the children in question. This includes groceries, eating out, and school meals. Your child support payments will also fund regular clothes shopping. This area is where many people feel they overspend on their child support payments.

For instance, a judge could order someone to pay $2,000 per month in child support when the child’s monthly expenses are only $1,000. If the spouse with custody doesn’t feel their child support payments are sufficient, they could take legal action to obtain more.

Hobbies and Entertainment

The child support payments made should be sufficient enough to cover hobbies and entertainment. These could include whatever the child is interested in, such as video games or movies. This category of expenses must be within reason, though. A spouse with custody can’t demand more child support so they can spend thousands per month on entertainment, for example.

Medical Costs

Uncovered services and deductibles can be handled with child support payments. It’s worth noting that additional medical expenses could be incurred if the child has unique medical needs. Imagine a scenario where your former spouse has full custody over your child with autism. They’re on multiple types of medication, and they see a therapist numerous times per month. The medical portion of your child support payments in this situation will quickly add up.

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Educational Expenses

Uniforms, books, supplies, and tuition payments are covered under child support. The same can be said for extracurricular activities. For instance, someone might receive enough money each month to put their kids into multiple afterschool programs, such as music lessons or sports. Educational expenses are often non-negotiable, as properly educating children should never be overlooked. Child support often doesn’t cover college tuition. However, the parent paying child support might feel a moral obligation to help their child get through college.

How Long Does Child Support Last?

In most cases within most states, child support payments will end on the child’s 18th birthday. Certain circumstances could cause them to continue past this date, though. This is most prominently seen with children who are mentally or physically disabled. Since these children cannot care for themselves, child support payments can help the spouse with custody handle their monthly bills. Keep this in mind moving forward so you aren’t caught off guard.

What If Child Support Payments Stop?

It’s not uncommon for spouses who receive child support payments to suddenly stop getting them. In this case, you’ll need to hire a lawyer to help you take action against the other party. Otherwise, your expenses can quickly add up and affect your child’s quality of life.

Finding an Attorney

Without the right attorney on your side, you run the risk of falling short of your goals. For those who need child support, this means they could receive far less than anticipated. For those ordered to pay child support, they might need to allocate a superfluous amount of money each month for these expenses.   When searching for an attorney, it’s imperative to consider their past reputation. This would provide valuable insight into what you can expect from them. Look for reviews that mention timeliness, professionalism, and enthusiasm. Pricing is another attribute to keep in mind. Not all attorneys are created equal; you should avoid the cheapest one you find. This doesn’t mean you need to spend as much money as possible on expensive attorneys, though. There’s a point of diminishing returns regarding what you get from what you pay for. Instead, look for someone priced in the middle of the industry’s range. This will help you meet your goals without overspending. Do they specialize in this area of law? Hire an attorney who has over a decade of experience in family law. This will guarantee they understand your case’s nuances and can make the best decision for your situation.

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You can check out this divorce and family law FAQ to understand more about what you should look for. With enough vigilance during your search, you shouldn’t have problems finding the best choice.

Take Action ASAP

It’s important to take action as soon as possible once your case makes it to divorce court. The sooner you find an attorney, the better likelihood you get the child support you and your children deserve. Be sure to hire the right professional, though.

Our blog has many lifestyle articles like this one that can help you make better decisions. Check them out today to see what you can learn!

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