In recent years, the debate over what child support should be used for has escalated as laws regarding child support enforcement continued to evolve. Non-custodial parents who feel as though they are constantly being asked for money by ex-spouses and children question how the money they are paying in child support is being utilized. While there are cases of irresponsible spending by a custodial parent, it is important to remember that there are many expenses not covered by child support. Even though child support is calculated to ensure that both parents contribute financially to the upbringing of a mutual child, there are certain things that custodial parents pay for monthly that are not always considered when child support is calculated or discussed.
In the majority of United States households, both parents are employed and in single parent households, over 76% of household heads work full time. While parents are working, children who are too young to be left home alone legally must be placed in some form of child care. The costs associated with daycares, after school programs, and babysitters are not always considered when child support is calculated. The average cost for full time child care in Georgia starts at $7,228.00 annually for an infant, with school aged children receiving after school care for approximately $65.00 each week.
Sports Related Expenses
Participating in extracurricular sports activities helps children develop self esteem, confidence, and increases their chances of having their college applications accepted. Unfortunately, the expenses associated with most sports are far from negligible and not included in initial child support calculations. Parents with children who participate in sports must pay for registration, sports examinations that health insurance does not always cover, uniforms, and other equipment. After paying initial expenses to get their child on the roster, a parent must also pay to replace anything that is lost or damaged during the season.
Field trips are an important part of the learning experience that help increase students’ chances at future success. Over the years, school money dedicated to funding school trips has decreased, making parents responsible for those travel costs. The cost of these annual trips is not included in child support, and as children get older, the cost of travel increases. Students who have parents who are unable to afford the cost of amusement park tickets, hotel costs, or other trip related fees are forced to miss opportunities that their classmates get to experience.
Contact an Attorney
If you or someone you know are facing increasing child related expenses that were not considered at the time the initial child support order was created, contact an attorney. A child support attorney is able to review your agreement and make sure you are not overlooking any clauses that address parents sharing certain expenses. Also, if you have recently experienced a significant change in income, an attorney might be able to help you request a child support modification. The attorneys at Vayman and Teitelbaum understand that parenthood often includes unanticipated expenses. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our four conveniently located Atlanta metro area offices so that we may provide you with the assistance you deserve.