What is the child support I pay used for?

Many parties that pay child support want to know where the money goes.  They make allegations that the money is being used by the recipient parent and not for the minor child.  Unfortunately for those who wish for an accounting of how the money is being spent, they are not entitled to such under law in Illinois.  Child support is used for a broad variety of things that are not necessarily segregated as for the benefit of the minor child.  Part of child support may go towards rent or a mortgage payment for the home the minor child resides in, for utilities such as electric, gas or water, which the minor child uses, or gas or a car payment for transporting the minor child to or from school or other activities.  It is very rare that a child support award would cover 100% of the costs of the child as well as their recipient parent just based upon how child support is calculated.  Many argue that the recipient parent likewise receives the benefit of child support.

There are certain expenses, over and above child support, which a obligor parent could be ordered to contribute to.  The following expenses can be ordered by discretion of a Judge in addition to child support: (1) contribution to out of pocket medical expenses (2) contribution to health insurance costs (3) contribution to extra-curricular activities (4) contribution to child care or daycare (5) contribution to mandatory school costs and fees, or private school tuition.  The Judge has the discretion in any given case to order these additional expenses payable by the obligor parent, whether in full or just a portion.  Often times a Judge will order a 50/50 split on these additional costs. However, the Courts take into consideration the relative financial positions of both parents as well as the children’s needs and  can also divide these expenses based upon income levels, or, can choose not to order any additional payments over and above the child support

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