Person collecting child support

What Can Child Support Payments Be Used For?

When you are going through a divorce and there are children involved, child support may very well come into play. After all, Florida law makes it clear that both parents of a child have a legal obligation to provide financial support. Upon divorcing, Florida child support guidelines will dictate what amount is fair for purposes of child support payments. Usually, these payments will continue until the child reaches 18 years of age, with a possible extension if the child has yet to graduate from high school or has a disability.

Before, during, and especially after a child support award is granted by the court, one or both parents will wonder what type of expenses are supposed to be covered by child support in Florida. After all, it would be normal for parents to want to understand how child support payments can actually be used. In some cases, parents have later brought up disputes due to alleged misuse of child support payments. To help avoid these disputes and give you a better understanding of the intent behind child support in Florida, we will detail what child support payments can and should be used for in Florida.

What Can Child Support Payments Be Used For?

Child support is intended to cover expenses associated with meeting a child’s basic needs. These needs include food, shelter, and clothing. It is also meant to expand beyond this to provide for those additional expenses that come with raising a child. For instance, education, extracurricular activities, travel, and other fun activities are considered valid child support expenses.

Child support payments may be used to cover educational fees, transportation costs, and more. It should be made clear, however, that the parent receiving the child support payments has the discretion in deciding how the funds are spent. So long as the payments are going towards supporting the child, the receiving parent may decide what those payments will actually cover. This is just for practical reasons as much as any other reasons as monitoring how the receiving parent is using child support payments could be nearly impossible to track. The receiver parent also has discretion in setting aside the child support payments and using those funds to cover the basic needs of the child or the receive parent may, in the alternative, decide to combine the child support payments with the rest of their funds in order to cover essential expenses.

Medical expenses are also addressed by the court when discussing child support and child-rearing expenses. Every Florida child support order must provide for the child’s health insurance in order to make sure that one of the parent’s is providing the child with health insurance. This expense is factored into the child support calculation. Furthermore, the court will address those medical expenses that would not be covered by insurance and ensure that each parent bears a responsibility in covering these costs.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Understanding child support is important for all co-parents to understand. Talk to the knowledgeable team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou about child support and what you need to know about it. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.