Are Parents Required to Pay Expenses In Addition to Child Support?
In most family law cases involving children, child support will be ordered. Child support is usually a factor when parents choose to divorce, but it may also need to be addressed in situations where parents are unmarried. This form of support is not meant to benefit or penalize either parent, but it is instead a right that is afforded to children so that their ongoing needs will be met. Parents will need to understand how child support payments will be calculated, and depending on their unique circumstances, they may also be ordered to contribute to additional expenses on top of child support ordered by the court.
How Parents May Share Children’s Expenses
Child support obligations are determined based on the income earned by each parent, and in some cases, the parents’ respective amounts of parenting time may also factor into these calculations. This “basic support obligation” is intended to cover children’s daily needs, and the parent who receives payments may use them to address the costs of food, clothing, and housing. However, there are usually other costs involved in raising children, and in addition to the basic obligation, expenses such as the following may need to be added to this amount:
Health care - Parents must ensure that their children will be covered by a medical insurance policy. Most of the time, coverage will be available through health benefits provided by one parent’s employer. When obtaining coverage, parents may calculate the amount that will be paid to provide coverage for children, and one parent may be required to reimburse the other for a portion of this amount. Other types of health care costs not covered by insurance may also need to be addressed, such as co-pays for doctor visits, medications, and any medical equipment or assistive devices that are needed.
Child care - If both parents will be working, children may need to receive care and supervision during the times that parents are unavailable. Younger children may attend daycare or be supervised by a nanny. Older children may need to attend after-school programs, or a babysitter may provide care during times when they are not in school. Parents will usually share the costs of child care that is necessary while one or both parents are working.
Educational expenses - Different types of school fees may need to be paid by parents, or tuition payments may be necessary if children will be attending private schools. Parents may also need to address the costs of books, uniforms, or school supplies.
Extracurricular activities - When children are involved in activities outside of school, including sports, scouting programs, music lessons, dance classes, or any other activities meant to promote social development, the costs of these activities may be divided between the parents.
As with other types of child support, parents will usually divide expenses based on their respective incomes. That is, if one parent earns 60 percent of the couple’s combined income, they will be responsible for paying 60 percent of the child-related expenses.
Contact Our DuPage County Child Support Attorneys
If you are a parent who is going through a divorce or needs to address child custody issues, you will want to make sure child support obligations are determined correctly. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, our attorneys can help you understand the different types of expenses that you may need to address, and we will make sure child support orders are put in place that will meet your children’s ongoing needs. Contact our Oakbrook Terrace child support lawyers at 630-909-9114 to get legal help with your family law case.