Some parents who are going through divorce believe that child support is supposed to cover only their children's bare necessities. However, this financial support addresses a wide range of expenses.
Child support remains one of the biggest areas of contention during divorce proceedings in Arizona. In addressing child support disputes, the court will consider several factors, such as a parent's ability to pay, his or her income, the child's financial needs and how much support is necessary for helping a child maintain his or her current standard of living.
Child support helps cover a child's basic needs. These needs include a comfortable and safe place to live, food and proper clothing. For instance, child support money can buy groceries, beverages, snacks, jackets and shoes. It can also be useful for paying rent or mortgage costs along with utility, lighting and telephone bills.
Health care and child care
Child support can also help cover extraordinary health care expenses. Such expenses may include out-of-pocket costs that surpass what a basic medical insurance plan covers, such as surgery costs, co-pays and deductibles. For instance, support money can go toward casts, dental braces and eyeglasses.
Child support may also be necessary to pay for childcare if one or both parents cannot take care of their children as a result of work-related problems. Childcare costs include those associated with babysitters, daycare services or nannies.
Education and extracurricular activities
Child support can also be invaluable for covering educational fees, even for children who are attending public school. After all, children who are school aged need money to cover their uniforms/clothes, textbooks, tuition fees, private tutors and lunch money, for example.
In addition, child support might come in handy for paying for children's extracurricular activities -- activities performed outside the traditional school day. These might include summer camps, sport activities, after-school programs and clubs -- for instance, Boy or Girl Scouts.
The ultimate goal of any divorce proceeding involving children is to do what is in the best interests of the child. An applied understanding of the law may help you to fight for your child's interests while also pursuing an outcome that is personally favorable and fair when dealing with child support in Arizona.