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Does your child support payment still cover your expenses?

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2020 | Divorce

Raising a child without a spouse or partner can be difficult for several reasons. One of the most tangible challenges is affording the things the child needs on a daily basis and for the long term. Fortunately, a solid divorce order or settlement will include child support payments that can allow a custodial parent to provide the child with a quality standard of living. However, both the parent receiving and the one paying support may not fully understand what the payments should cover and how to seek post-divorce modifications if the amount no longer covers those items.

When a Pennsylvania court orders a parent to pay child support, it usually follows an examination of the circumstances, the income and expenses of each parent, and the needs of the child. In most states, a parent who receives monthly support may use the money for any of the following and other expenses for the child:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Educational expenses and school functions, such as field trips
  • Sports and extracurricular activities
  • Some medical expenses
  • Transportation, especially when it involves visitation to the other parent

Pennsylvania law may not require a parent paying support to cover certain other expenses, and this may mean both parents must split the cost. However, as children grow, their needs and expenses change. A custodial parent may find it more difficult to afford the additional items or interests the child needs or requests. Parents who cannot work out a fair division of these costs may return to court to seek a post-divorce modification of their child support order.

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