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Child support: Not just for the basics every child needs

Most post-divorce parents responsible for paying child support believe their payments are strictly for the bare necessities of life. These include staple items like food, shelter and clothing for the child. However, as more and more courts in Georgia and elsewhere agree, child support should provide for many elements in the child's entire life. This means the payments can be used to cover things not typically included in a child's list of basic needs.

All 50 states have their own child support guidelines based on many factors including income and ability to pay as well as how much financial support the child needs. However, it is largely understood that child support can cover a wide range of elements that allow children to grow and to thrive.

Along with the typical food, clothing and shelter a child requires, support can also be used for the following.

-- Health care costs, including insurance policies-- Uninsured health care expenses-- Expenses for childcare services like babysitters or daycare-- Fees related to education, including school fees and school supplies-- Sports activities, camps and other extracurricular activity costs-- Costs related to the child's entertainment, including games, Internet access and social outings-- College expenses, in some cases

Courts do not force custodial parents to show proof of how child support money is being spent. Instead, the court will assume the funds are being used to care for the child. If you are concerned about child support in any manner, it is a good idea to contact a Georgia attorney who can offer advice of what, if any, modifications should be made to the support agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed Aug. 26, 2015

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