What is child support for?

What is child support for?

Obviously, child support is money paid for the support of a child. Generally, it is for the support of a minor child. In Illinois, child support is due until the child is 18 years of age and has graduated high school, but not past the age of 19. Child support can be cut off earlier by emancipation events, which will be discussed in another blog.

Child support is for all of the child’s needs, except for the following, which are contributed to in addition to child support payments.

Daycare: cost of daycare necessitated by the parents’ work/schooling is generally not included in child support. Typically, the parties must contribute to daycare expenses in proportion to their incomes.

School Fees: generally, public school fees are not included in child support, and the parties have to contribute to such fees commensurate with their incomes. Private school fees and tuition may also be in excess of child support, if the parties agree that the child should attend private school.

Health costs: the parties have to contribute to the health insurance premiums for the child and health related expenses not covered by insurance based on their incomes. Usually, the parties have to use in-network providers for the expenses to be eligible for contribution by the other party. “Health related” is a very broad category, which includes physician visits, prescription medication, dentist visits, therapy, etc.

In essence, child support is for room (housing & utilities), board (nourishment), clothing and other daily necessities of life. However, child related expenses not included in child support often match or surpass child support.

This short blog article is meant to give you a general idea of what child support covers. As the reader can see, most of the statements are couched in cautious terminology, like “typically” and “generally”. That is because child support and related expenses are determined on a case by case basis according to the best interest of the particular child, in his/her circumstances and depend largely on the parents’ means.

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