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Which expenses can child support payments cover?

Most divorced parents in Maryland wants what is best for their children. It is therefore only natural for a noncustodial parent to be concerned about how the child support he or she pays every month is spent. Is it used as intended to support the various aspects of the child's life, or does the custodial parent spend it on him or herself? Although there is no law to dictate precisely how child support money should be spent, there are basic guidelines to ensure it is used in the best interest of the child.

Depending on the age of the child and the custodial parent's circumstances, child care fees such as day care, after-school care and babysitting might require a significant percentage of the monthly check. Next on the list of priorities are the child's daily needs, including food, shelter and clothing. Medical expenses will depend on which parent carries health insurance, but child support money might have to cover prescription costs, medical co-pays and health insurance deductibles.

If the child participates in sports, associated costs could include registration and participation fees, equipment and uniform along with traveling expenses for distant events. Then there will be a need to pay for the child's entertainment such as field trips, visits to theme parks and movies, and an allowance. Many custodial parents have to budget carefully to ensure the court-ordered child support covers all the expenses.

Matters related to child support could become overwhelming, but help is available. An experienced family law attorney in Maryland can assist in drafting a budget or guidelines for spending child support. Furthermore, a lawyer can provide support and guidance for parents seeking modification of child support obligations. The paying parent might become incapacitated or unemployed and no longer able to pay the full amount, or the receiving parent might need more support as the child grows older and his or her needs change.

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