Any parent in Illinois would likely agree that raising children is expensive. Simply meeting their basic needs can be difficult enough but there is typically also a need for school fees and costs associated with extracurricular activities. For some, there may be a misconception that child support only covers basic essentials. However, support actually covers a wide range of expenses.
For many, the fact that child support covers basic expenses, such as food, housing and clothing, is likely fairly obvious. At the minimum, this includes groceries, including drinks and snacks, appropriate clothing including jackets and shoes, and the costs of rent or mortgage and utilities. Support can also cover medical expenses, including the cost of insurance and medical expenses not covered by insurance, such as co-pays or braces.
Beyond this, child support can be used for fees related to meeting children’s educational needs, such as school uniforms, textbooks and tutors. Some states also require parents to contribute to their child’s college education. Support also covers childcare, extracurricular activities and age-appropriate entertainment, such as a trip to an amusement park.
In most states, courts take into consideration a variety of different factors when making a determination regarding if and how much child support is necessary. These factors include the financial needs of the child, the parent’s ability to pay and income and how much support is necessary to ensure that the child’s existing standard of living is met. However, these guidelines vary by state, making it prudent for those living in Illinois to seek advice from someone with experience with state laws.