The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Can a child support modification help with school costs?

While we hope our readers are enjoying the summer, the reality is that summer will soon turn to fall. Before that happens, a new school year will begin, which means that kids will need new clothes, shoes and a slew of educational materials. Kids may want (or need) new computers or may want to participate in sports leagues and social clubs. It may be obvious, but all of these things need money.

In the midst of these new expenses, parents may disagree on who should pay for them. This may especially be the case when a non-custodial parent is paying child support. In these instances, the custodial parent may seek a modification to get these expenses covered, but it is important to know what child support covers.

Essentially, court ordered child support covers basic expenses incident to raising a child. This essentially includes food, shelter and clothing, in addition to child care and medical expenses. Because these costs may vary depending on a parent’s income, support is based on a formula that takes into account both parties’ incomes.

Regardless, child support may not be construed as a requirement for one parent to pay for extra-curricular activities and school costs. As such, a parent seeking a modification to compel the other to share in these costs may not find the success he or she is looking for.

Additionally, support modifications are largely based on changes in circumstances that are based on a parent’s income. So if a parent becomes temporarily unemployed or is forced to take a position that carries a lesser salary, a court may be inclined to adjust a support order.

If you have questions about support modifications, an experienced family law attorney can help. 

Source: Family.findlaw.com “What does child support cover

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