Divorce can be a very messy process. When children are involved, it can be even more complicated. One point of contention for many exes who have children together is that of child support payments. Who must pay child support and what exactly is covered when a parent is ordered to pay?
A child support payment is meant to aid the primary caregiver in providing their child or children with the means for a full and comfortable life. The parent who ends up paying is generally the one who spends the least amount of time with the children on a weekly basis and/or makes more money than the other parent. In the state of California, the court always rules in favor of what’s deemed best for the child. If the child lives more permanently with one parent and/or makes less money, that parent will usually be the one awarded a court-allotted amount of child support money each month to help with child-related expenses.
Child support should only be used to enhance the life of the child in question. The parent with custody of the child cannot and should not view a payment of child support as surplus money to be used however they see fit. If there is left over money at the end of the month, it should go towards next month’s expenses or into a savings account for the child.
How do you determine what will enhance a child’s life?
The first and most important thing a child support payment should be used for is the child’s basic necessities. The shelter cost can also be used for utilities as well as any other payment of household bills that contribute to the child’s well-being.
The parent with the better health insurance plan is generally the one to cover medical, dental, and vision insurance. However, if the primary parent is the one with the better insurance, support payments can still be used to pay for any medical bills not covered under insurance.
Education & Childcare
Even if a child goes to public school, there are education expenses that need to be paid each school year. These include the cost of school supplies, lunch boxes, and clothes for the upcoming year. If a child needs to be put in an after - school program or summer care, the primary parent can use child support payments to pay for some, or all, of the expenses, depending on the amount they receive.
Children need to be able to get from one place to the other. Child support payments can be used to pay for bus transportation, gas, upkeep on the primary parent’s car, registration, and auto insurance. It can even be used to pay for the child to visit the non-primary parent in a different location.
It can be difficult to navigate through the process of child custody, child visitation, child support and divorce.At The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider, we can help you get through it. Contact us online or call us at (619) 304-8499 for a consultation today.