Understanding Child Support: What To Know

Understanding Child Support: What To Know

Divorce happens for numerous reasons, but more often than not, best for both parties. Unfortunately, divorce can also be difficult for the custodial parent as they’ll essentially be tasked with raising their children alone. Thankfully, child support exists.

Child support is money paid by the other parent, which then helps the custodial parent provide the needs and wants of their children. More often than not, child support can be mandated by law, but this is not always the case. All the details still depend on the state where you live, along with the agreement you’ve decided. This should include the amount and expenses it should cover. 

Given the work and elements involved, understanding child support can be confusing and complex—for both parties involved. It’s always best to consult a family law attorney, but to help you understand the process, here’s a quick and easy guide to follow:

What To Know Before Requesting For Child Support

Before requesting child support, there are numerous factors all parents must take into consideration. The mere definition of a custodial parent must be revisited for instance, as with the meaning of a non-custodial parent. Custodial parents are essentially those who have been granted primary custody of their children, whereas a non-custodial parent does not have physical custody of the children, but has rights in visitation and other activities involving the upbringing of the children.

Child support, on the other hand, allows both parents to split the financial responsibilities of raising the children. In other words, non-custodial parents will be required to provide regular payments, all of which should cover basic needs and other expenses. 

What can you use child support for?

As previously mentioned, child support money is used to help raise the children left in a parent’s custody. It should be heavily emphasized that this money must never be used by the custodial parent for personal expenses, and failure to comply with this concept results in conflicts and other confusing circumstances. When you request child support, all the money should be used for the following items only:

  • The children’s home, which includes rent, mortgage, and even utilities, where they can remain safe and sound as they grow
  • All the child’s needs and wants, including food, clothing, books, toys, and other items to be used
  • School expenses, which should include supplies, clothing, books, and other additional costs like extracurricular activities, summer camps, and even field trips
  • Medical costs, which encompasses medications, annual checkups, dental health care, eye care, and even a health insurance plan

Note: Any misuse of funds that do not involve a child, including entertainment, vacations, and clothing expenditures can lead to serious consequences. Should money be left over after a month, extra funds must be saved for the child—never to be used by the custodial parent. 

Understand Child Support Better With A Florida Family Law Attorney 

As you explore the many complex layers of child support, it’s important to keep in mind that the money you’ll be receiving or giving should be used for the benefit of your children. There will be roadblocks along the way, especially if you’re dealing with a difficult co-parent. It’s important to talk and stay on the same page, however, as this is your children’s welfare on the line—their happiness and well-being should matter most to both parties.

To fully understand the layers of child support, allow Parra Harris Law to assist. We are a local family law firm in Florida, passionate about being advocates for our clients in every family law matter. With combined experiences of 45 years, we’ll help you gain the justice you deserve. Book a consultation with us today.

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Paola Parra Harris