What Can Child Support Be Used For? 

Posted in Child Support on November 15, 2023

Child support is a critical tool meant to support the needs of a child when the parents are not living together. Typically, the court wants to ensure both parents maintain financial responsibility for their child, but it is not always easy to fairly divide these expenses. More so, there are times when the money meant to support a child is not used properly or not enough is provided to meet all of the child’s needs. Talk to the Solana Beach child support lawyer at Ratzer|Dobis today.

Average Annual Cost of Raising a Child

A study reported by SmartAsset found that in the San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad metro area, the average annual cost for raising a child is $28,745, including more than $12,000 in childcare costs alone. Considering how expensive it can be to raise a child, it is critically important to use child support to meet as many of those needs as possible.

Child Support Uses

The child support agreement approved by the court outlines the specifics of who is responsible for paying for the child’s needs and what those funds can be used for. In typical situations, child support can be used for the following:

  • Groceries and school lunch costs
  • Education of the child, including tuition, books, tutors, fees, and uniforms
  • Shelter for the child, including rent or mortgage payments, utility bills within that home, and related costs
  • Clothing for the child
  • Medical care costs are dependent on insurance availability, but unmet expenses are typically split equally
  • Childcare costs, including nannies, daycare costs, summer camp programs, after-school programs, in-home care
  • Entertainment for the child, including toys and the services needed for those toys or entertainment, such as cable bills or internet
  • Transportation to and from school as well as other activities – which means that costs related to transportation, like gas and vehicle maintenance, are acceptable coverage
  • Child-specific activities such as playing sports, theater, clubs, and music lessons

In addition to this, in some agreements, child support may also be used to pay for college-related costs. However, the amount is often dependent on schooling costs once a child reaches the age of 18.

What If the Child Support Being Paid Is Not Enough or Being Used Accurately?

In situations where you believe that child support needs to be modified for any reason, it is critical to petition the court to make those changes properly. Without evidence and verification of the reasons for such changes, it may be difficult to gain approval for modifications.

If you believe the other party is not using funds properly or you are not sure how you can best use child support within the law, allow our legal team to help you. Our family law attorneys can help guide you into making the best decisions for your child.

Contact Us for a Consultation

We work with families that need help navigating legal matters, including child custody and child support. Contact Ratzer|Dobis to discuss your needs and how child support can be used according to the agreement in place. Our family attorneys can also help you to modify the child support agreements in place in California.