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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Child support covers a variety of expenses

Texas parents who pay or receive child support may be interested to learn more about what custodial parents are allowed to use child support payments to cover. Child support may be used to cover a variety of different expenses, and perhaps the most important expenses fall into the category of basic necessities. These include food, clothing, shoes, rent or mortgage payments and utility bills.

Parents can also use child support payments to pay for education-related expenses. If the child attends a private school, child support may go toward tuition. For public school children, it could pay for basic school supplies, lunch money and school clothing. Other expenses covered by child support include age-appropriate entertainment, general transportation costs, and if the custodial parent works, child care. A child's medical care may also be paid for using child support, and many states require divorced parents to carry medical insurance. If a parent needs to pay for a medical or dental expense out of pocket, child support can go toward this amount. In some cases, parents may be asked to split the cost of out-of-pocket expenses.

Different states have different guidelines to determine how much child support a parent will have to pay. In Texas, child support can be used to cover a child's basic necessities and education expenses. In some cases, it can also be used to cover college tuition, but a judge will make an individual ruling on this issue.

In addition to child support, non-custodial parents in Texas must pay medical support. This means a child will have to be covered by their health insurance plan. If they do get health insurance through their employer, they will be required to help the custodial parent pay for the child's insurance.

Source: Bird, Beverly, 'Child Support & Medical Insurance in Texas"

Source: Findlaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?", August 01, 2014

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