Why parents pay child support

When a child's parents have divorced, the noncustodial parent will typically make support payments to the custodial parent. The goal is to ensure that the needs of Florida children are taken care of. Generally speaking, the amount of a child support payment is based on state guidelines that take several factors into account.

Child support payments can be used for a variety of different purposes. For instance, they will likely be used to ensure that a child has adequate food, clothing and shelter. They can also be used to cover educational expenses as well as health care expenses. A noncustodial parent is generally required to help pay for summer camps or other reasonable incidental costs related to raising a son or daughter. Parents are not to use child support payments as a method of covering their own expenses.

During the process of creating a child support order, the purpose of each payment will be clearly defined. If a parent has any questions about how payments are supposed to be used, it may be a good idea to ask an attorney or the appropriate state agency. Amounts that aren't used in a given month will ideally be kept aside to benefit the child in the future.

While child support is generally paid under the terms of a formal court order, its terms may also be decided by the parents as part of a parenting plan. As long as the arrangement provides adequate support, a judge will generally approve it. It may be worthwhile for an attorney to review any agreement prior to submitting the deal for court approval. This may make it more likely that it is structured in a fair manner.

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