Child support isn't just for the bare essentials

A lot of people think child support shouldn't cover anything a child could technically live without. For instance, they understand that it can help to buy food and clothes or pay the rent, but they don't think it should go any farther than that.

This is a myth. The reality is that child support is supposed to cover general expenses that come with raising a child. This can go far beyond the bare essentials for life, as it's clear that a child needs more than the minimum to have a happy, healthy childhood. Other things that the support money could be used for include:

- School fees, like the cost of books or a uniform.- Entertainment, in all of its various forms.- Medical needs, from basic bandages to prescription medications, treatments and more.- Extracurricular activities, like the cost of a band trip to play at a festival or the cost of playing sports.

The thing to keep in mind is that child support is just there to spread out the financial burden of bringing up a child. If you and your ex had stayed married, you would have paid for these things together; it only makes sense that you'd both share the cost even though you split up, with your child's best interests in mind.

Of course, this does mean there can be some gray areas and disputes, especially when it seems like support money is not being used fully for the child or that it is being wasted on things that don't fit with the idea of raising the child. When these disputes arise, it's important to know all of your legal options.

Source: FIndLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed Dec. 10, 2015

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