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What can be included in child support?

When Massachusetts residents think of costs associated with child support, often the first things that come to mind are necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter. But, to sustain a healthy and happy upbringing, we all know that there are far more items, activities and costs associated with childhood. The courts understand this as well and allow a custodial parent to use child support payments for many things during the upbringing of the child.

In addition to simply, “shelter,” child support payments may be used for costs, such as child day care or a nursery school, as well as the many costs associated with schooling. This could include field trips, extra-curricular activities, such as school clubs, instruments or music lessons, recreational sports costs and equipment costs and even tutoring or standardized test courses.

The child support payments can also go towards enjoyment, entertainment and even vacations for the child. The payments can also be used towards costs associated with a child’s health and wellbeing. This may include basic doctor visits, copays, prescription and over the counter medication costs, as well as any costs necessary for children with special needs, like rehabilitation or therapy.

As one can see, child support payments can include costs well beyond the standard necessities. If one is in a dispute over how a custodial parent is spending child support payments, no matter which side they are on, it is important to understand the law. It may be in one’s best interest to reach out to a firm familiar with family law to learn how to proceed.

Source:, “What Does Child Support Cover?,” accessed on May 23, 2017