Child support is one of the most common topics for dispute in a California divorce. While there are guidelines in place as to how much a parent is expected to pay, it remains important to understand precisely what the support payments are generally used for.
Child support is meant to provide for a child’s needs
The court focuses on the child’s best interests and that includes what child support is expected to pay for.
Payments for basic needs are meant to cover a suitable place to live, food, clothes and getting them back and forth. Health coverage is for medical care, dental visits and vision. Depending on the insurance situation, parents might need to pay out of pocket for some services. This will impact the support payments.
The custodial parent could need to work, go to school or require child care for other reasons. This too must be addressed under child support. Depending on the type of education the parents want the child to receive, there may be tuition payments.
Finally, there are always “extras” that will arise. Perhaps the child plays sports or takes part in performance art. That falls under the category of extracurricular activities.
Most areas of family law are intertwined. That includes child custody and support. When parents are trying to determine how to address their post-divorce issues, this should be factored in.
Knowing what child support will cover is a key part of being prepared
Parents will want cost certainty while knowing the child is properly cared for. That includes how much support will be and how it is used. Misunderstandings can arise if people do not have sufficient information. Knowing what support payments are predominately used for can help with a case from its outset.