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Understanding child support

Child support is intended to be used to ensure that custodial parents have the financial resources needed to raise their shared children. Texas parents should be aware of exactly how child support should be applied.

Child support is intended to be used on household expenses, such as mortgage, rent, utilities, food and whatever else is needed to ensure that a child has a habitable and safe home. The support can be applied to expenses related to a child's education, such as fees, supplies, trips and clothing. Medical expenses, dental and vision care and other similar needs can be met with child support. Educational lessons, clubs, sports and extra-curricular activities are also covered by child support.

Expenses that child support should not be used for include parent-related expenses, like pedicures, hairstyling, manicures or any other type of salon services. The money should also not be used by a parent to go on vacation or to dine out without his or her children. Child support should also not be used to purchase anything that is plainly not for the child, such as tattoos, tobacco, or alcohol.

Any child support that has not been spent in a given month should be saved and applied to the future needs of the child. The parent should not use the excess funds for anything that is not related to the welfare of the child.

Individuals who need assistance with resolving their child support issues should speak with a family law attorney. The attorney may advise clients about their state's laws regarding support amount calculations and how the support should be used. If a parent fails to pay child support on time, the attorney may request enforcement measures. Requests for modifications of child support orders could also be handled by an attorney.

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