If you are a parent in Maryland who pays or receives child support, you should understand how the funds should be used. This might vary from state to state. It might also be affected by the arrangement you and the child’s other parent reach.
Why is child support awarded?
The purpose of child support is to cover the child’s needs. Usually, the parent who receives child support is the custodial parent, who has primary physical custody and with whom the child spends the most time. The parent who usually pays is the non-custodial parent, who might have visitation rights with the child.
How is child support calculated?
Child support is calculated in Maryland and many other states using a formula that considers both parents’ income. Additionally, if the custodial parent receives government assistance, that will also be taken into consideration. In many cases, child support is taken directly from the paying parent’s wages.
What costs can child support cover?
Child support payments should be used to cover costs related to the well-being and raising of the child. The goal is to ensure the child’s standard of living remains stable. Some of the costs that can be covered by child support include:
• Clothes, food, toys and other items for the child
• Rent or mortgage to ensure the child lives in a safe environment
• Utilities for the home where the child lives
• School and extracurricular expenses such as tutoring, clubs, sports or summer camps
• Medical costs, including insurance, doctor and dental visits, glasses and medicine
Child support should always be used to cover costs related to the child’s life. If the expense is not for something that the child is involved in, then you should not use the money to pay for it.