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Understanding what's covered under Child Support

Many parents in Virginia and other states across the nation believe that child support might only covers the basic necessities of raising a child. Although necessities such as food, clothing and shelter are of course covered, it does not end there.

In most states, parents are required to have their children covered under their own health insurance. Depending on the custodial parent's financial situation, child support also covers medical care such as visits and checkups with your primary care physician, as well as emergency visits to the hospital, surgeries and co-pays. In addition, dental and eye care costs such as braces, glasses or contact lenses must be shared between the parents.

Regardless if a child is attending a public or private school, expenses such as books, registration fees for extracurricular activities and the costs of materials or sporting equipment are also included in child support costs. If both parents are working and childcare is required, child support may cover expenses such as daycare, babysitter, or nannies. In addition, summer camps, additional tutoring and college costs may also be included.

Child support costs also include travel expenses such as car payments, gas, registration and insurance for transporting the child. Entertainment costs may be included as well. These could include, but are not limited to trips to the movies, amusement parks, vacations, cable bills, toys, video game consoles, games and other traditional expenses associated with raising a child.

If you are uncertain what costs are included in your child support payments, it may be wise to consider seeking the advice. This will not only help ensure proper expenses are required but could also help parents enforce or modify child support agreements.

Source:, "Child Support Basics", accessed on April 7, 2015

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