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What Does Child Support Cover?

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Isn't Child Support Supposed to Cover Everything?

Anyone who is on the receiving end of child support knows how difficult it can be to calculate the actual expenses involved in raising a child.  While the courts do their best to design a grid that is supposed to provide enough support to the custodial parent, in most cases, the custodial household bears more than its fair share of financial responsibility. 

If your financial situation has changed, or you feel that your child support order needs to be adjusted or recalculated, it makes senses to consult with a Colorado Springs child support lawyer.  An attorney with experience in Colorado family courts can help determine what kind of additional support you may be entitled to receive.

Let’s face it.  Kids need a lot more today than they ever have.  In order to be competitive as college applicants, they are expected to participate in several extracurricular activities, summer programs, teams, clubs and camps.  While child support covers basic living expenses, such as food, clothing and shelter, it does not provide for the additional expenses involved in raising children. 

In many cases, divorced parents do their best to divide these costs equally, but in some circumstances, the non-custodial parent claims they are not responsible for these costs unless they first approve each expense.  It is true that with shared legal custody, parents should try to agree on major decisions regarding the upbringing of their children, but it is unrealistic to have discussions about everything. 

Some of the “extra” expenses that are often not included in a basic child support order include:
• Summer camp, as a child care expense, when both parents are working
• Bedroom furniture and accessories
• Entertainment expenses
• Extracurricular activities, like music lessons, athletics and clubs
• Travel and vacation expenses
• Class trips
• College savings
• SAT prep courses
• Birthday parties
• Musical instruments
• Pets, and pet supplies
• Computers and printers
• Eyeglasses

The list could go on and on, and the costs go up as children get older.  Without a modified child support order, the custodial parent will invariably pay a lot more than their fair share.  A Colorado Springs child support lawyer can help develop a more equitable agreement that will amend an existing order for support. 

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