You've come home after a long day at work, and as you're checking your email you see a note from your ex-wife saying that your son needs money to pay for soccer cleats. At this point, you may be wondering what child support actually covers. While state laws vary, in most places, uninsured medical bills and extracurricular activities aren't covered unless specified in the agreement.
Below is an explanation of what your child support payments cover:
How Much Should you be Paying?
When you're asked to pay for things that you believe should be covered in your monthly payment, you may need to change your thinking on child support. Most states use a two-way scheme: both parents pay support to one another, with each taking a share. Most payments are preset, and the amount is an estimate of what's necessary to help the child maintain the standard of living they had before your divorce.
The Cost of Having Kids
The support you pay is what your children need while they are with the other parent. You are still liable for supporting your kids during the time you have them, just as your ex-spouse must still pay to support the children during the time they have them. As you're likely to find out, you never really know the true cost of having children—especially when they become teenagers.
Tracking Child Support Payments
When making support payments, it pays to be cautious. Track your expenditures during the time you have your children if you believe that your ex isn't using your payments in an appropriate way. Keep a detailed journal of the items your children brings during your parenting time, and of the things they need while they're with you. Retain receipts for everything you buy, and ask the other parent for a reasonable repayment.
Is Your Ex-Spouse Using Support Payments Correctly?
Are you always spending on incidentals for your children, such as toiletries, undergarments and shoes? If you're buying everyday items for your kids even when they're not with you, it may be a sign that your ex-spouse isn't using support payments for their intended purpose. You may have a reason to look into the matter further, and to possibly make a court motion against your ex for diversion of child support. When you meet with your lawyer, bring your divorce decree to demonstrate the factors that the court used in determining the support amount.
If you want to learn more, contact a child support lawyer for more information.Share
10 July 2015
My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.