A child support obligation covers a wide array of expenses related to a child's care and well-being. These expenses include basics, like food, shelter, clothing and transportation, along with unreimbursed medical expenses up to $250 per child. It seems pretty obvious what should be included under these categories, but there are a lot of expenses that parents forget about. Other expenses seem like “extras”, but that depends on your child's evolving needs. Below are 5 basic child support expenses, and the specific goods/ services that are covered under each category.
The mortgage, property taxes and home insurance payments are obvious, but a house cannot run without utilities, and periodic maintenance and repairs. Depending on the size of the house and property, landscaping, pest control and domestic services may be needed as well. In short, housing expenses under the child support guidelines include a numerous incidental expenses that are incurred on behalf of the children.
Providing for a child's food costs goes beyond 3 meals a day, especially nowadays when children are constantly on the run. Extracurricular activities may keep them out several night a week, during which time they may need to get snacks and drinks from a vending machine. Afterwards, they may need to have dinner at a restaurant, which is more costly than eating at home. Still, these are all reasonable expenses under the broad spectrum of any and all food consumed by a child.
The Child Support Guidelines specifically mentions payments towards the owning and leasing of a car, including monthly payments towards the principle, car insurance, gas, motor oil, maintenance and repairs. In addition, parents must account for parking fees, tolls, auto service clubs (AAA), and license and registration. In some cases, public transportation may need to be included, even if the primary custodian has a car.
Clothing comprises of many items including footwear, sports shoes, school uniforms, watches, jewelry and diapers, in the case of babies. Dry cleaning, laundry, repair and maintenance of the clothes are factored in as well. Clothing expenses, by the way, increase as a child grows older, since junior sized clothes and accessories cost more than child sized clothes. These children may also need clothes for special events, like school dances.
- Unreimbursed medical expenses
Unreimbursed medical expenses up to and including $250 per child includes all medical and dental expenses that are not reimbursed by your healthcare provider. However, these expenses go beyond co-payments for checkups and emergency treatment. Non-prescription drugs, health equipment/ products and specialized healthcare services such as private nurses and therapists are also included.
This list is not meant to serve as a comprehensive list of all your child support expenses, but it does give you an idea of the expenses that are covered under even the most basic categories. For more information on your child support rights and legal options, please speak with the attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C.