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Are there expenses that my child support won't cover?

If you are the parent of a child, and you have separated from the other parent, the law gives you the right to seek financial support for that child. In Kentucky, there are legal expectations that you and the other parent must meet for your child's sake; child support is one way to fulfill that obligation. However, the definition of what support is supposed to cover may be a little hazy. To make this a little easier to understand, here are expenses that are not generally covered by child support.

Extracurricular activities

If your child attends a specific school, child support may be extended to cover the cost of attending that school. This may include your child's participation in activities that are school-related like choir, football, art and school clubs. However, extracurricular activities that are non-school related, such as summer camps or social clubs like the Girl Scouts, are not commonly covered.

Sports supplies

Similar to extracurricular activities, if a sporting activity is not directly connected to your child's school attendance, it does not have to be accounted for in child support payments. Therefore, sports supplies are often left out of the support calculations.

Entertainment

Depending upon the court system, it may be determined that your child is entitled to basic entertainment, including:

  • Computer access
  • Internet
  • Television programs
  • Games

However, this does not have to include certain outings, such as visits to amusement parks, camping trips or even a movie theater.

Vacations

Certain travel costs may be included in child support, such as travel fees to visit the noncustodial parent living in a different area, along with basic transportation costs. However, vacation travel is not considered essential to your child's well-being; therefore, it may not be included in child support payments.

Medical care

You or the other parent may be required to carry health insurance for your child and these costs may be included in the child support payment made to you. However, there are certain "extraordinary" medical expenses, such as out-of-pocket medications and specialty visits, which may not be mandated and therefore, not eligible for coverage under the support plan you have.

College

While some states may rule that the noncustodial parent should contribute to a child's college expenses to further their education, others do not. It is important to know the particular laws in your state and that you plan accordingly.

These are just some of the main expenses that may not be covered by your child support. If you are using a parenting plan, it may be possible to negotiate the splitting and funding of some of these expenses with the other parent. To aid in such cases, it can be helpful to work with an experienced attorney who can provide you with more information.

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