Can child support pay for entertainment?

By |2022-04-06T15:01:05+00:0028 Mar 2018|Categories: Child Support|


When a parent pays child support, it is often concerning to suspect that the funds paid to the other parent are not used for essential needs of the child, like shelter, food and clothing. It is true that child support should generally ensure that a child’s basic needs get met before going to pay for entertainment or other nonessential needs, and a parent who prioritizes nonessentials may need some guidance on using child support properly. However, courts generally allow a parent to use child support to give a child basic entertainment and even extracurricular activities, if other basic needs are already met.

Part of the basis of the child support system is the idea that a child should not suffer unnecessarily because of the state his or her parents’ relationship. Child support payments are the right of the child, not the receiving parent, and as long as the receiving parent provides for the child’s basic needs first, then it is usually permissible to use support payments to give the child entertainment and extracurricular activities.

This may include things like paying for internet access or computers, or even experiences like going to the movies or going to a theme park. Child support may also legitimately pay for extracurricular activities, such as joining a sports league, going to a summer camp or participating in an after-school program.

It is understandable for the paying parent to have concerns about the way the receiving parent chooses to use child support payments. If you have concerns about the use of your own child support, an experienced family law attorney can help. Professional guidance in this area can help you understand the nuances of the law and how they may apply in your circumstances. As a parent, you have an important responsibility, not only to provide for the child you love, but also to ensure that the child truly receives the care he or she needs.

Source: FindLaw, “What Does Child Support Cover?,” accessed March 28, 2018

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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