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What costs may be paid by child support payments?

When a San Francisco parent is ordered to pay child support, they are required to provide financial support that will benefit the needs of the recipient child. The state of California uses a set of guidelines that generally determine how much support a parent must pay for their child or children; these guidelines can be set aside if circumstances require the parent to pay more or if the parents establish a payment schedule that their presiding court agrees serves the best interests of their children.

Child support payments can be used to cover a variety of child rearing costs. They may be used to pay the rent or mortgage for the home in which the child resides. They may go toward groceries or clothing purchases that keep the child fed and in appropriate attire. Depending upon the arrangements the parents have made, child support money may be used to cover a child's medical needs.

Aside from critical daily needs, child support may be used for more variable costs. For example, it may be put toward expenses related to extracurricular activities or items needed for the child's schooling. Child support can also be used to provide the child with entertainment opportunities, from occasional adventures to the movies to vacations away from their homes. These are only some of the costs that child support may be used to cover and readers are encouraged to discuss their child support questions with their family law attorneys.

While in some cases child support payments may end when a child reaches the age of 18, some parents agree to provide support to their college-bound children. Parents can always decide to financially support their kids beyond when their child support obligations would normally end, but parents may not choose to stop paying child support before their operating agreements or orders are set to end.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?" accessed November 13, 2017

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