How child support may impact a parent's budget

Child support payments are designed to help custodial parents in California meet the needs of their children. However, there are many costs that child support payments are not meant to cover. For example, they are not meant to cover the cost of a school yearbook to to pay for school pictures. They are also generally not to be used to cover the cost of a tutor or an enrichment camp.

Many of the fees and costs related to a child playing a sport are not covered by child support payments in many cases. These costs include the cost of lessons to improve that child's skill level or the cost of uniforms and other equipment needed to play a given sport. Music lessons and the cost of buying a musical instrument are generally not included in child support payments a parent may receive.

Understanding what is and what isn't covered by child support may make it easier to negotiate ahead of time to pay for those extras. If the other parent refuses to do so or won't cover as much as one parent would like, it may be up to that parent to pay for anything that may enrich a child's life.

Those who are going through the divorce process may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may help a parent obtain child and spousal support as well as provide assistance when it comes to dividing marital property. This may make it easier for a custodial parent to get the resources that can help to ensure that the children have an adequate upbringing.

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    Attorneys Paul Gavin and Wayne Dersch are certified as a family law specialists. Learn More