No matter how long a child lives with their parents, it is important that they receive the financial support they need to thrive. Having access to the money necessary to meet their basic needs, such as food and clothing, can make a big difference in a child’s ability to grow into a healthy and happy adult.
The financial security of a child is also essential for their emotional health. Without sufficient funds to provide medical, dental and mental healthcare services, poor children are at increased risk for developing serious physical and behavioral problems.
If you are facing a divorce and have concerns about how to provide for your child’s needs, the New Jersey Office of Child Support Services can help. They can assist you in navigating the child support system and provide you with a free legal consultation.
Paying for Your Child’s Needs
One of the most common concerns parents have about child support payments is whether or not they are being used appropriately. It is important to remember that a child support payment should not be used for the parent’s personal expenses, but should rather go toward helping to raise their child.
Education is a vital part of a child’s development and many states will require a noncustodial parent to cover the costs associated with their children’s schooling. This can include tuition, textbooks, school supplies, lunch money and private tutoring.
Oftentimes, child support will also cover the costs of childcare. This includes daycare, babysitters and nannies as well as care during summer months, spring breaks, and holidays.
College is another educational expense that may be covered by child support. In some states, child support can be used to cover the costs of a child’s undergraduate or graduate degree program.
When calculating child support, judges will take into account the financial circumstances of each parent and the specific needs of their child. These factors can include income, custody, and visitation schedules, as well as the child’s standard of living before their parents separated or divorced.
Some child support guidelines will also consider the cost of a child’s healthcare. This is particularly important for children with special health care needs, such as medical conditions that require expensive equipment or medicines.
For example, children with Down syndrome or autism often need special treatment in order to maintain their mental health. The cost of this treatment can be high and, in some cases, it is not a cost that is included in the child support calculations.
Other issues that can affect a child’s ability to thrive are the lack of adequate housing, or an inability to pay for a mortgage, rent or utilities. These issues can be difficult to deal with and can have a significant impact on a child’s wellbeing.
Changing the Needs of Your Child
If your child’s needs change, such as a move to a different location or an increase in educational fees, you can request a modification of your child support payments. These changes can be especially helpful when there are other, less-expensive alternatives for a child’s care.
A skilled Miami divorce & family lawyers can help you determine the correct amount of child support that is needed for your situation. They can also advise you on how to avoid paying too much and potentially violating your support order.