As any parent knows, raising a child is very expensive. In Utah, courts can order one parent to pay child support to the other parent. The purpose of child support is to make sure a child’s needs are met. Contrary to popular believe, child support can cover more than a child’s basic necessities.

There are so many costs to consider in raising a child. Utah law does not specifically address which of these costs child support must be used for. The parent who receives the support has the discretion to use the money however he or she believes is best for the child, with some limitations. Essentially, unless the child’s basic needs are not being met, courts will assume that the parent is using the child support to pay for the child’s necessary expenses.

Paying for basic necessities, such as good, clothing, and shelter, is the most obvious way to use child support. Child support can also be used to pay for the child’s medical expenses. Generally, courts will order the parents to provide health insurance for the child if it is available at a reasonable cost. Courts may also order the parents to split any out-of-pocket costs, which are also known as extraordinary medical expenses. These costs can be covered by child support.

Child support may also be used to pay for child care, extracurricular activities, and education-related costs, like tuition and school supplies. As an earlier post demonstrated, child support can even include college expenses.

Another expense you may not have considered is transportation, For example, if the child must travel out of state to visit the other parent, child support could help pay for the plane tickets.

Essentially, child support is intended to help a parent pay for the child’s needs, whatever those needs may be. To get help with your child support case, contact a family law attorney.

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