On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
If you’ve recently had a child custody agreement approved by the family courts in Florida you likely are wondering about child support payments. What can they be used for? How long will I receive the payments? Do they only have to be used in support of my children? These are all valid questions and ones that our Fort Lauderdale child support lawyer will answer for you in today’s post.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
This is an important question to ask your attorney when putting together a child custody agreement. For the most part, child support will only last until your child reaches adulthood. In Florida, child support is supposed to end when your child reaches the age of 18 and this must be mentioned in the child support order. Orders created prior to 2010 in Florida likely do not have termination dates listed in them. The support can be extended to when the child turns 19 if he or she is still in high school and is expected to graduate prior to turning 19.
Uses for Child Support
The most common use of child support is of course the basic necessities to live. This includes food, shelter, and clothing. Every child should be properly fed, clothed, and have a safe place to live. That means you can use the payments to buy them clothes as needed, purchase groceries for the house, and even help pay your monthly rent or mortgage.
If you need to pay fees for activities, sports, transportation, class trips, books and other items for your child’s education they can be paid for with the child support you receive. These fees can be found in both private and public schools, which means you will likely need to pay for one or more of these items at some point during your child’s education. Other needs include uniforms, money for lunch, and tutoring.
The health of your child is very important and should never be overlooked because you have to pay another bill this month. Child support payments can be applied to your child’s health care needs in Florida. You might need to make a co-pay for a doctor visit or when picking up a prescription for your child.
If you work, even if it’s part-time, there might be days when you cannot care for your child once school is done for the day. You will need to find a babysitter to care for them either in your home, at someone else’s home, or at a childcare facility if they are young enough. Childcare is very expensive. The child support payments you receive can be used to obtain child care when needed.
Movies, Books, and More
There are many courts that believe children should be entitled to some basic entertainment in their lives. You might be able to use some of the child support to take your child to the movies, buy them new books, and take them to an amusement park.