Family and Criminal Law Blog

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

What Can You Use Child Support Payments for?

Child support is standard in many custody orders issued by Texas courts. In most, but not all, cases child support is so ordered in a custody dispute between two parents who are divorcing. With limited exceptions, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the noncustodial parent in order to provide financial support to meet the needs of the child. The exact amount of child support ordered will depend on a number of different factors involved in the case. With all of the complexities involved in these kinds of cases, you may be left wondering what child support payments are actually designed and supposed to cover and what they are not.

What Can You Use Child Support Payments for?

When you consider what you can use child support payments, it is a good idea to think about what the purpose of Texas child support really is. At its core, it is supposed to provide support to meet the child’s basic needs through adulthood. Adulthood is considered to be when the child has turned 18 years old and has graduated from high school. Child support can be extended in some cases and it can also end in some cases, such as if the child marries or becomes emancipated.

Basic needs of a child are the same as basic needs for all of us. Basic needs include food, clothing, and shelter. So, child support money can cover bills associated with housing, such as mortgage payments and utility bills. It should also be noted that Texas requires medical child support. This is not required in all states, but it is in Texas. This means that the noncustodial parent, the parent that does not have primary custody of the child, is obligated to provide the child with health insurance coverage either through a government program or private insurance company. If the noncustodial parent cannot provide this, then they must pay the other parent to provide insurance coverage for the child. Both parents are responsible, equally, unless they agree to a different arrangement, for medical expenses that fall outside of insurance coverage. This includes copays and deductibles.

So, what doesn’t child support cover? You may be surprised, but not so much if you go back to the fact that child support is intended to cover a child’s basic needs. Everything above and beyond those basic needs is not really intended to be covered by child support. This means that extracurricular activities and vacations are not supposed to be covered. If there is enough child support to provide for the child’s basic needs with some left over, the left over can be used to pay for such things without it being considered a misuse of the funds.

Family Law Attorneys

Child support can be a contentious issue, but it is certainly an important one too. For child support questions and assistance, reach out to the dedicated team of family law attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.


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Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. is located in Midland, Texas and serves the surrounding cities and counties, including: Odessa in Ector County, Andrews County, Martin County, Howard County, Winkler County and Crane County.



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