What Is Child Support Used For?

Child support covers everything a child needs, and even more, during the growth and formative years. Keep the following in mind: A parent`s first and principal obligation is to support his or her minor children according to the parent`s circumstances and station in life; and Children should share in the standard of living of both parents. Thus, the amount of a child support award is more than a question of bare necessities. If the child has a wealthy parent, that child is entitled to, and therefore needs something more than the bare necessities of life. Where the supporting parent enjoys a lifestyle that far exceeds the custodial parent`s living standard, child support must to some degree reflect that more opulent lifestyle. This is so even though, as a practical matter, the child support payments will incidentally benefit others in the custodial household whom the payor parent has no obligation to support (e.g., custodial parent owed no spousal support, adult children, or children from custodial parent`s other relationships). Children should share in the standard of living of both parents. Child support may therefore appropriately improve the standard of living of the custodial household to improve the lives of the children. Children are entitled to share in non­custodial parent`s elevated standard of living despite custodial parent`s substantially lower income. Awarding supported children a percentage of a non­custodial parent`s future bonuses ensures they will share in his standard of living.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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