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What should child support be used for?

You and your ex-spouse may have many arguments, but one that can come to rest is what child support can or should be used for. Child support, by definition, provides support for your child. That support may cover living expenses, medical bills, school fees and other items your child needs to live in a comfortable environment.

Every state has its own guidelines on how much a parent should pay when he or she is ordered to pay child support. The amount is important and should be paid as directed by the court, so the parent who primarily raises the child has the boost in income needed to support raising the child on his or her own.

Courts don't require child support to go to specific activities or be used for specific purposes. However, you may challenge a situation if you see that your child's support needs are not being met despite paying what the court says you owe. For instance, if you pay $900 a month in support and the child's mother earns $1400, there should be no reason not to pay rent for $550 or to go without clothes, food or other necessities.

Child support does provide money toward the essentials, like food, clothing and shelter, but it's also used for medical care, child care costs, travel costs and even educational fees. Extracurricular activities, like playing football, could be a good use of the funds and pay for transportation to games, uniforms or other needs.

These are a few things to know about child support. It's there to make sure your child is always taken care of.

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