One of the things that divorcing Michigan couples who have young children will have to address is child support, with an understanding that the support will be there to cover expenses related to raising the children. However, the parents might have differing opinions on which expenses can be included, which can lead to conflict between them. Understanding the different types of expenses related to children’s lives can help parents avoid them.
The basic expenses
Most parents will easily identify the basic expenses that will involve their children. These include:
- Rent or mortgage payments for the home the children live in
- Food children eat at home and at school
- Utilities and other expenses for the upkeep of the home
- Clothes for the children throughout the year
- Medical care and health insurance payments
Other expenses covered by child support
However, beyond the basic expenses, there are other things children need and use as they grow. These expenses might not be obvious when parents are first thinking about child support but will become evident with time. These expenses include:
- Educational expenses such as tuition, supplies and school trips
- Afterschool and extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports
- Before and after-school child care
- Entertainment at home such as cable and internet
- Leisure activities such as going to the movies
- Expenses related to transportation such as auto insurance, maintenance and gas
What expenses should you avoid covering with child support payments?
You should avoid using child support payments to cover any expenses that do not involve the children. For example, going out to dinner or any other form of entertainment without the children should not be paid with child support funds. This would also apply to clothes and other items for yourself.
Child support funds should only be used to cover expenses related to your children. Doing so will help you show that you are providing the right care for your children and avoid issues with the parent paying support.