What Does Child Support Cover?

What Does Child Support Cover?

All states have established legal child support guidelines which help lawyers and the judge to determine a fair amount of child support a parent may need to pay every month. There are numerous factors considered with respect to this amount. These include the parent’s income and the needs of the child. Should these circumstances change, it may be possible to file for a modification in the order.

What are child support payments meant to cover?

It is a common misconception that child support payments are only there to cover the necessities of raising a child like food, clothing, and utilities/housing.  You may be interested to find out what other costs child support is meant to cover!

Knowing this information is helpful when figuring out the right figure for a child support number – so you can balance not being taken advantage of but also providing a good life for your children. 

Here are some categories of what child support can be used for:

Extracurricular Activities and Entertainment

Many courts also hold that a child has the right to basic entertainment. This includes visits to amusement parks, nature outings, movies, and shows, as well as, access to the internet, computers, and games. Furthermore, a child should be able to attend activities outside of school including girl or boy scouts, sports clubs, dance, and so forth. Child support may be used for these things, and as agreed upon by each parent.


Depending on the state and circumstances, child support payments may be used for college expenses. This might even include financial contribution to college after the child has turned 18. A family lawyer can help you to determine whether or not this is applicable to your child support case.


Regardless of a child attending public or private school, there will be fees involved. Child support can be used to purchase books, clothes, uniforms, meals, private tutors, tuition, and more.


If both parents have work related obligations and require a nanny, babysitter, or daycare, child support should assist in paying for these needs. Payments can also go towards child care during vacation breaks and the summer time.


Child support may be used to pay for gas, car payments, car insurance, and public transport. It can also be used for travel costs, particularly when the child is visiting his or her parent in a different location.

Health and Medical Care

Nearly all states require parents to have health insurance for their child. In general the parent with better employee benefits will also carry the insurance plan for the child. If both parents cannot afford insurance, a family lawyer might suggest alternative options such as Medicaid.

If a child is not covered for certain medical expenses, or there are deductibles and copays of a treatment, child support payments can be used to cover these costs. For example eyeglasses, braces, dental surgery, eye surgery, and so forth. Depending on the state you are in, each parent may be required to split these costs.

Tampa Child Support and Family Law

You may be thinking, “Where can I find a divorce lawyer near me?” Anton Garcia Law’s family law attorneys are compassionate, experienced and dedicated to representing your best interests.  Contact us today!  Serving the following Florida areas:

  • Tampa, St Petersburg
  • Land O’ Lakes
  • Lakeland
  • Plant City
  • Downtown Tampa
  • … and more!

If you are looking for a Tampa family law attorney, look to Anton Garcia Lawa 2021 SuperLawyer “Best Attorney” award winner. Our office is located near beautiful downtown Tampa, where we proudly serve clients from around the state of Florida.