New Jersey parents are very aware that raising a child today can be very expensive. Child support payments are intended to help mitigate the costs after a divorce, but there are limits to what the payments can be used for. Parents who are receiving child support should be mindful that certain services, activities or goods they may consider essential for the upbringing of their children may be considered as optional by the court.
Parents may feel that these additional expenses are required as they believe the items they cover are necessary to provide their children with the tools and background they may need to have an enriching and fulfilling life. However, state laws regarding what child-related expenses child support payments can be applied to are usually clear. For all other expenses, the parents receiving child support payment have to find other ways to cover the costs.
For younger children who are too young to attend school or who have just started, services such as babysitting, day care and after-school care may not be covered by child support. Extracurricular activities for school-age children may also not be covered. These can include private lessons for sports or music, academic tutoring, costs associated with yearbooks and school photos, and enrichment camps.
Child support monthly payments can be a point of contention between parents. If parents are concerned about being able to pay for additional services and goods for their children that they deem necessary but that may not be covered by child support, a family law attorney might negotiate provisions in a settlement agreement that cover these matters.