For many parents in Pennsylvania, having to pay child support can feel like a form of punishment. However, the goal of child support isn’t to punish one parent or establish that one person is a better parent than the other. Instead, it’s meant to ensure that the child can enjoy the same quality of life with both parents.
What does child support cover?
Child support coverage is different in every state. However, every state requires child support to pay for basic necessities like food and shelter. Child support can go toward groceries, school lunches, clothing, shoes, house payments, utility bills and more.
In some states, child support might pay for other expenses. This could include major medical procedures like surgeries and chemotherapy, as well as more everyday expenses like braces and glasses. One parent is typically required to pay for the child’s health insurance coverage. A parent can also use child support to pay for babysitters, daycare services and nannies.
Some parents might find it surprising to learn that they can even use child support to pay for entertainment. This might include movie tickets, sports events, theme park trips and other expenses. You won’t be expected to fund a full Disney vacation by yourself, but the court might rule that your child is entitled to fun and entertainment once in a while. Your divorce attorney could educate you about child support expectations in more detail.
How do you negotiate a fair amount of child support?
Your child has the right to enjoy a reasonable standard of living, but you also have the right to negotiate a fair child support payment. An attorney could show you how your state calculates child support and help you argue for a child support modification, if necessary.