Each state has its own rules for child support, but all agree that parents are required to provide financial support for their children. When parents are separated, one parent may support the child financially while the other supports the child through physical custody. A parent who pays child support, however, may not always get to see how that money is used.
Some states place strict limits on the kinds of things for which a parent may use support payments. Others allow almost anything that directly or indirectly benefits the child. In general, child support payments in New Jersey may pay for any of the following
- Housing expenses, including rent or mortgage and utilities on the home where the child lives
- Health insurance and other medical, dental and optical expenses
- Transportation, which may include vehicle payments and upkeep
- Educational expenses, including books, meals, tutoring and other items
- The cost associated with certain extracurricular activities, such as sport teams, music lessons or organization memberships
Of course, this is only a general list. In fact, some parents arrive at settlements in which they outline their own uses for child support money. Additionally, if children are very young when the parents split, their support order or settlement may not include college expenses, which the parents may negotiate later.
At any time, the obligation of paying child support may become unmanageable, either because of a temporary setback or a permanent situation. When this happens, New Jersey parents should not let time pass without seeking legal advice about a modification of child support orders. Waiting too long and missing payments may result in an escalation of financial and legal issues.