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How child support may be used in Texas

A common public perception about child support is that it should only be used to provide for the most basic needs a child may have. Child support is designed to provide for much more beyond food and clothing, however, and it may be used to pay for a broad category of things that are related to the costs of raising a child.

Shelter costs may be paid by child support, including the costs for additional use of electricity or renting a larger home than a single person would otherwise need. The guidelines also provide room for school expenses to be paid, as even public education is not truly free. For example, many public schools have various fees, required books and uniforms, all of which require payment. Similarly, child support encompasses the cost of extracurricular activities and entertainment needs of the child, including sports participation, music lessons, summer camp attendance and other assorted activities.

Parents may used child support to pay for a child's medical care as well as extraordinary medical expenses that are not covered by medical insurance. In some cases, a parent may have additional requirements to continue paying child support beyond the child's reaching the age of majority in order to help pay for college-related expenses as well. Child care costs to allow the custodial parent time to work or attend school may be included, as can transportation costs such as gasoline, repair and maintenance of the vehicle used to transport the child.

Raising a child involves many costs far beyond the most obvious ones. Child support is designed to allow the custodial parent to be able to adequately provide for the child in order to ensure the child's needs are met. In these types of family law matters, the child's best interests are what is paramount.

Source: Findlaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?", December 31, 2014

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Bruce Turner

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