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What can you pay for with child support?

It’s common for a custodial parent to request or receive child support from the non-custodial one to cover expenses associated with raising their son or daughter. The courts generally try to ensure that both parents equally contribute to their child’s upbringing.

The court generally doesn’t provide parents with details about what they can purchase using child support. This makes it challenging for custodial parents to determine when they might need to request an increase in support if their expenses exceed what they receive.

You may find it helpful to learn some of the more common expenses parents can use child support to cover. Some may surprise you.

Child support covers the basic necessities plus more

Most jurisdictions view child support as an amount that is supposed to cover your child’s portion of your basic household necessities, including food, clothing and shelter. Some also see expenses such as medical care, educational costs, college tuition, child care, transportation, extracurricular activities and entertainment as coverable by child support.

  • Those shelter costs highlighted above may include a portion of the mortgage or rent, utility bills and phone or internet service.
  • Medical costs may be particularly high if an emergency occurs or if your child suffers from a pre-existing condition. Both are costs that parents typically need to share.
  • Child care costs may include babysitters and day care. These may increase during school breaks, warranting an increase in support.
  • Educational costs may go beyond tuition to include uniforms, tutors, lunch money and textbooks. These can fluctuate in amount.
  • Transportation costs may include car payments, registration fees, insurance premiums, gasoline and repair costs, as well as public transportation or rideshare options.

Raising a child is costly. It’s important to know what expenses can be covered by child support here in Washington. An attorney help you get you the child support you and your child need.