Child support pays for the support of the child. There have been many posts about this and ‘support of the child’ takes on many definitions. “Support” can mean childcare, clothing, medical, and food. It can also include the housing of the child. USUALLY if a dad/mom pays child support and they’ve agreed to split medical and school expenses, then any other expenses (shopping sprees, birthday party gifts, haircuts etc…) are covered by the parent with primary custody. If you have your kids on equal time, then expenses incurred while they’re with you are usually covered by you and vice-versa.
Now once your kids age out of daycare, IN MY OPINION, there are still support issues. Unless agreed upon either in writing or verbally, the children’s expeses increase. Just because the children aren’t in daycare, doesn’t necessarily mean the support should decrease. Add in extracurricular activities, sports, corresponding equipment, musical instruments, car insurance, increased school lunch expense (and groceries), more expensive clothing, cell phones… Usually the custodial parent is responsible for these extra expenses if not addressed via agreement.
SO…child support can be relative. Each situation is different and each family deals with it differently. I hate tagging a dollar amount to what it takes to ‘raise and support’ a child because there is no definite way to do that. Nobody’s fault in that. Guidelines have to come up with a formula for everyone. That’s why it’s so important to have a GOOD SEPARATION AGREEMENT defining how expenses will be shared.
-(off my soapbox now)[;)]