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What Types Of Expenses Are Covered By Child Support In Florida?


When parents who share minor children file for divorce, they need to address different issues. Child custody and child support are two of the most contested issues in a divorce involving children.

Typically, Florida courts require one parent to pay child support after a divorce. Both the parent who was ordered to pay support and the receiving parent may wonder, “What types of expenses are covered by child support in Florida?

That’s a great question to ask. After all, it is perfectly normal for a parent to want to understand how child support payments can be used. Many divorced parents have disputes regarding the alleged misuse of child support funds.

If you believe that the other parent is misusing child support payments, do not hesitate to speak with an Orlando child support attorney to discuss your legal options. Below, we will talk about what is covered by child support in Florida.

How Can a Parent Spend Child Support Payments?

Typically, child support only covers expenses related to the child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Child support funds may also be used to pay for the child’s healthcare, transportation expenses, educational fees, and other necessities. However, the receiving parent has a right to decide how child support funds are spent.

Parents who receive child support from their former spouse may choose to use child support payments in one of two ways:

  1. Set aside child support payments and spend them only on their child’s basic needs; or
  2. Combine those payments with their household funds to purchase groceries, pay utilities, and cover other essential expenses.

While Florida’s child support laws require parents receiving child support payments to spend the funds for the benefit of their children, courts typically cannot control or monitor how these funds are spent.

However, a court may get involved and control how the receiving parent spends child support funds if there is strong evidence of child neglect or criminal activity.

What Do Child Support Payments Cover?

As mentioned earlier, child support payments are intended to cover expenses related to the child’s basic needs, including food, shelter, and clothing. While the payor may be able to monitor the receiving parent’s expenses for clothing, it can be difficult – or even impossible – to determine how the parent spends money on food and shelter.

In most cases, household-related bills and expenditures are divided between household members, which is why it may not be possible to estimate what amount of child support funds go to pay for the child’s “shelter.”

When determining child support, Florida courts consider a number of factors, including the income of both parents. All of the factors that courts consider when calculating child support can be found in Fla. Stat. § 61.30.

Typically, child support payments do not cover expenses beyond the child’s basic needs. Thus, the parents will need to reach an agreement on who will pay for the child’s extracurricular activities, field trips, summer camp expenses, and others.

If parents cannot come to an agreement, they will have to go to court to let the judge decide for them. However, getting a court order can be a time-consuming and costly process, which is why it is best to contact an experienced attorney to negotiate an agreement out of court.

Consult with our Orlando child support lawyer at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to discuss who should pay for what after the divorce. Call 407-521-7171 to receive a case review.



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