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What Could Child Support Payments Cover in California?

Questions about divorce? Give us a call!Child support payments are a common cause of strife between former spouses. One spouse may disagree with how much the payments are or how they are being used. The other spouse may argue the payments are not enough.

If the court orders you to pay child support, then the amount you owe will depend on your circumstances. The court will typically require you or your former spouse (or both of you) to cover your child’s living and medical expenses. Expenses covered by child support may include:

  • Food, housing and clothing: Child support payments are supposed to cover basic necessities. Your payments may cover mortgage payments, rent for an apartment and clothing.
  • Education expenses: Your payments could cover the cost of attending school, hiring tutors, books and school supplies. Any type of expense related to the child’s education may be included.
  • Medical expenses: Child support payments may be used to cover health insurance premiums, medical bills. In some cases, unmet health expenses may be split between the custodial and noncustodial parent.
  • Transportation: Payments could go towards the cost of transportation, such as bus tickets, gas or airplane tickets. In addition, payments could be used on repairing a vehicle that is needed for transportation.
  • Child care services: Your children may need to attend a daycare. Child support payments could cover the costs of a daycare center. In addition, they may cover the cost of hiring a babysitter.
  • Extracurricular activities and entertainment: If your child participated in after school sports, then child support payments may cover the necessary athletic equipment. Payments could also cover entertainment costs.

Child support payments in California are typically not monitored by the court unless there is a reason to suspect your child is being neglected. Payments cover a wide variety of expenses that are associated with raising your child.

For most families, it is essential to ensure child support agreements are being enforced. If a party responsible for child support payments does not meet the terms of this agreement, they can face severe punishments. Child support agreements are legally binding. If you do not adhere to the agreement, you could be found in contempt of court.

When payments become difficult or impossible, it is imperative to modify the child support agreement. Our next blog will discuss circumstances where modifications may be necessary.

At the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP., our Santa Clara family law lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients resolve any issues that may arise from the conditions of child support agreements.


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