When one parent is granted custody of a child, it is not uncommon for the courts to award child support to be paid by the noncustodial parent. Considering that the custodial parent has the responsibility of caring for the child, it is generally understood that the parent will have less time available to work, and hence may be at a financial disadvantage over the non-custodial parent. So what child support cover?
It is commonly believed that child support should cover the basics, a child's necessities and general cost of living expenses such as food, clothing and shelter. But in the United States, including the Twin Cities region, there are many more expenses that parents go through to assure that a child lives a healthy and happy upbringing.
The courts understand this, and allow for the custodial parent to use child support payments from the noncustodial parent to cover much more than just food, clothing and general cost of living expenses. A child's health is paramount, and therefore child support payments can go towards many expenses such as dental or eye care not covered by insurance, over the counter medications or supplies, doctor or hospital co-pays, and for special needs children, and equipment necessary.
From an educational perspective, child support can be used for many extra-curricular school activities such as sports registration and equipment, musical instruments and tutoring, books, and club expenses and field trips. The child support payments may also be used for social events such as toys, video games, vacations, trips to the movies, amusement parks and carnivals and other trips to make certain that a child does not miss out on opportunities due to the divorce.
Source: findlaw.com, "What Does Child Support Cover?" Accessed March 7, 2017