In Florida, both parents continue to be responsible for a portion of their child’s financial support after the divorce. Usually, the parent whom the child lives with most will receive payments from the other parent to help cover expenses. 

Florida statutes list many of the things on which a parent should spend support payments. 

To pay for needs

The court figures the basic support amount on a percentage of each parent’s income, and it should go toward the child’s basic needs, including food, housing and clothing, among others. Child support should also cover health insurance and medical costs. If the child has special needs, the judge may raise the amount of support. A parent who needs to pay child care while he or she looks for a job, goes to work or participates in education or training may use support to help cover those expenses. 

To maintain standard of living

The courts want children to be able to recover from the upheaval of divorce, and that means trying to secure a standard of living for them that is as close to predivorce levels as possible. FindLaw notes that to that end, a parent may use child support to cover extracurricular activities, entertainment and gifts. For example, a parent may pay for soccer camp, movie tickets or birthday presents with support, as long as he or she first takes care of all the child’s basic needs. 

The only time the paying parent may be able to interfere with the use of child support is if the other parent is not meeting the child’s basic needs.