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Expenses generally not covered by child support

A divorcing couple should take stock of their financial situation, especially if child support is involved. In the state of Florida, a family law court decides how much should be paid by estimating the amount of money the parents would spend on their child if they were all residing in one household. That amount will then be divided, based on each parent's income. Expenses usually include daycare, the child's health insurance, the cost of overnight visits and funds to set aside for college. What might not be considered are the extra expenses involved in raising a child.

From ballet to baseball

Extracurricular activities help children to grow. The grace and poise a young girl gains through the study of ballet will be life-long assets. A boy who takes to baseball while he is still in elementary school may play it all the way through college and perhaps beyond. Sports require uniforms and equipment. Music lessons may require the rental or purchase of an instrument, and young ballerinas need leotards and ballet shoes, not to mention costumes for recitals.

Field trips and memberships

As a child goes through school, there will be class field trips to local museums, farms and other destinations. Baseball or football players will take trips to play other teams. A boy may want to become a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout, while a girl may have aspirations to become a Girl Scout. These are only a few examples of extracurricular costs that will need to be considered between divorcing parents. When negotiating the terms of child support, parents should keep such costs in mind and add them in so that one person does not have to shoulder such expenses alone.

The costs of higher education

Once divorced parents get through the expenses of raising a young child, many will be faced with the extra costs that will be incurred when their teenager goes to college. The College Board estimates that the yearly expense for books alone is from $850 to $1,000. There may be fees for certain kinds of classes, such as science labs, and items not included in the dorm plan like bedding, lamps and appliances. Campus life will also require allowances for food, laundry, concerts. Then there are the costs parents will incur for traveling to visit their son or daughter.

Seeking advice and support

It is often astonishing to moms and dads to discover how much more it costs to live separately than it did to live together as a family. After a divorce, living standards often become lower, and child support requires budgeting on a whole different scale. An attorney experienced with family law can provide advice and support at a time that is often painful and confusing, so that a child can be well cared for and provided with the opportunities in life that he or she deserves.

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