California parents who are ending their relationship might wonder what child support payments are supposed to cover. In many cases, custodial parents might feel as though they are paying more for the child's expenses despite receiving child support from the other parent.
What expenses child support actually cover may vary depending on the circumstances including the parents' income and the child's needs. In general, basic child support will not cover items such as extracurricular activities or extra tutoring. Parents may need to negotiate to have these items covered and include them in their parenting agreement.
Parents may also want to think about whether they want to buy or help their child buy a first vehicle and how this expense might be split as well as how they will pay for college. Even after the child is an adult, parents may also want to help pay for some wedding expenses. When budgeting for life after the divorce, parents need to account for these expenses.
Negotiating child support may be a struggle whether it is between divorcing parents or unmarried parents. It is important for parents to keep in mind that they need to make decisions that are in the child's best interests. If one parent does not make thepayments on time, the other parent still must stick to the visitation schedule that is agreed upon. If parents is unable to meet their child support obligations, they will continue to owe the same amount until they go to court to ask for a modification due to an adverse change in their financial circumstances. They may want to have an attorney's help when doing so.