What Is Child Support Used For?

If you’re a parent who receives or pays child support, you may wonder, “What is child support meant to cover?” Below, we describe NC child support laws, what expenses child support covers, and what you can do if you suspect that your ex is not using child support payments appropriately. 

Will You Get or Have to Pay Child Support?

In the state of North Carolina, both parents are financially responsible for their children. If you are the custodial parent, or the parent who has primary custody of the children, then it is generally assumed that you are paying your fair share in child support. The children live with you, so you must cover their everyday expenses. 

If you are the non-custodial parent, then you may be responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent. This payment helps ensure that both parents are financially contributing to cover your child’s needs.

How Much Child Support Is Ordered?

The amount of child support that the non-custodial parents must pay vary from person to person based on several factors, including: 

  • Both parents’ income 
  • The custodial arrangements in place 
  • The amount of parenting time they get with the children
  • Healthcare costs 
  • Childcare costs 
  • The costs of special needs

What Does Child Support Cover in NC?

Many people wonder, “What can child support be used to cover?” Generally, child support payments provide for the reasonable and essential living expenses that maintain your child’s standard of living. The purpose behind child support is to ensure a child has the same standard of living they would have had if you and your ex were still living under the same roof. These expenses may include:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Health insurance and medical expenses
  • Transportation 
  • Educational expenses deemed necessary and reasonable
  • Work-related childcare expenses

The court uses North Carolina’s Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support. It factors in any payments that either parent is currently making, such as for childcare or medical insurance.

If You Pay Child Support, What Other Expenses Do You Have to Pay?

You will typically have to pay for any expenses related to your child or children when they are with you. If you have to travel to visit your child or children, then you are typically required to cover those expenses as well. Your child support agreement may also require that you pay or split other expenses related to your child, such as:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Summer camps
  • Uninsured medical expenses
  • Educational expenses
  • Travel expenses

What If Your Ex-Spouse Is Misusing Child Support?

The parent who pays child support does not usually have a say in how the other parent spends NC child support payments. However, if you are concerned that the other parent is misusing child support – such as by spending the money on drugs or alcohol – or if you think they are neglecting your child, this may be grounds to modify the child custody arrangement. If the custody agreement is changed, then your child support agreement may also be modified.

Contact Kurtz & Blum Today for Child Support Assistance

If you have questions about your legal obligations under your child support agreement, or you suspect that your former partner could be misusing child support funds, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our family law attorneys at Kurtz & Blum

Our North Carolina attorneys have the knowledge and experience to advise you of your legal options and help you pursue the best possible resolution. Our highly experienced legal team has a diverse set of backgrounds and uses a collaborate approach to tackling the toughest cases. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.

Seth A. Blum is a graduate of Tufts University and Duke Law School. He also holds a Master’s Degree from the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy Studies. Seth is an experienced trial attorney who is licensed and has tried cases in both North Carolina State and Federal Courts. Seth is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He regularly teaches other lawyers advanced trial techniques.