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Child support

extracurricular expenses

Child support is generally intended to help with the costs of raising the child—including food, clothing, shelter, and education—but laws vary from state to state and are often unclear on the extent to which child support payments are intended to help the custodial parent pay for half of school supplies, health care, braces, glasses, dental care, uninsured medical care, transportation (car), daycare, sports camps, cheerleading camps, school trips, social activities, and extracurricular activities.

Most state laws (statutes) don’t identify the specific child-rearing costs to which the custodial parent is required to contribute payment from child support and other resources—and because these issues are frequently the source of parental conflict, parents should identify all expected future costs and agree to the process for sharing them.

In Texas, child support is regulated by state statutes that outline the financial responsibilities of non-custodial parents. Child support payments are intended to cover a child's basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and education. While Texas law provides guidelines for the calculation of child support, it does not explicitly itemize all the specific expenses that child support must cover. However, the Texas Family Code does consider health insurance and medical expenses, and the non-custodial parent may be ordered to provide health insurance for the child or pay a portion of the child's medical care not covered by insurance. Costs for things like school supplies, extracurricular activities, and other child-rearing expenses are not specifically detailed in the statutes, and thus, these costs are often addressed during the negotiation of the child support order or through subsequent modifications. Parents are encouraged to communicate and agree on how to handle these additional expenses, and if necessary, they can seek a court's intervention to resolve disputes. An attorney can provide guidance on how to include such provisions in a child support agreement or order in Texas.

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