Many financial responsibilities come with raising a child. This remains even when the parents are not together. Whether you believe you will be the payer of child support or the parent receiving it – you likely have many questions about child support. Child support is the fiscal responsibility of the noncustodial parent to pay the custodial parent for child rearing expenses. As a parent, you likely already know that there are many expenses associated with raising a child. So when you’re parenting from different households, how are child support amounts determined and what do they cover?
There is a list of items that child support amounts are to cover. Depending on the circumstances of the parents, some costs may be more prevalent or less pertinent to each family’s situation. Here is a list of items that affect many child support amounts: basic necessities, medical care, uninsured medical expenses, education, childcare, transportation, extra-curricular, college expenses and more. This is not really a short list, but depending on each family’s situation, some expenses may be important now but not others.
For example, older kids may have had childcare expenses when they were younger, but now that they are teenagers, they have more costs related to extra-curricular activities, like sports. However, at every age, food, shelter and similar necessities are going to be relevant. Other factors will help determine how much is dedicated for each category, including parents’ income.
Even when a child support agreement is reached, it may not work forever. This is because the child’s needs and the parents’ situations change. However, it’s important to hammer out these details even if situations change down the line. It’s in the child’s best interests to do so.