Most states view child support as a way for parents to equalize the playing field when it comes to covering a child’s basic necessities, including food, clothing and shelter. Some jurisdictions allow parents to request child support to pay for a broader range of costs, such as those associated with childcare, education, entertainment, extracurricular activities, medical care and transportation, though.

As the cost of living increases, so does the cost of child support. A judge may order a non-custodial parent to pay a portion of the rent or mortgage, utilities, electricity bills and the telephone. Medical costs that a parent may have to pay include any associated health insurance, including dental, mental health, and vision care. Parents may also be responsible for covering uninsured extraordinary medical expenses such as those associated with pre-existing medical conditions or if an emergency arises.

As for educational fees, child support can be used for things like school uniforms, textbooks, tutors and lunch money. Parents can also use support payments to cover childcare such as babysitters, nannies and daycare services. Parents often ask judges to include clauses in a child support order acknowledging that childcare expenses and parental obligations for support or expenses may vary throughout the year, such as in the summer, on holidays and on school breaks.

Getting a child to and from school and various entertainment and extracurricular activities can add up. Parents can use child support to cover car payments, registration fees and repairs, gasoline and insurance. If they utilize another form of transportation such as a bus, car service or train, that may have to be covered by child support, as well.

The cost involved with raising a child can be very expensive, especially for Ohio divorced couples managing the stresses of co-parenting. It’s essential that you’re familiar with all the components of child support and that it’s substantial enough to cover everything that it should. An experienced attorney in Columbus can help you inventory all of the expenses that you expect your son or daughter to have and aid you in requesting what you need to cover them.