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What kind of expenses does Tennessee child support cover?

When it comes to seeking child support from a non-custodial parent, many aren't sure where to begin. Factually speaking, child support is described as financial support from a parent that is not the primary custodial parent. Some may be misinformed that child support can only cover basic necessities like food or clothing. In reality, there are many expenses related to rearing a child that can be covered by Tennessee court-ordered child support.

First of all, Tennessee courts do not typically monitor how the primary custodial parent spends a child support payment. There are many financial expenses related to rearing a child such as medical costs, school fees, extra-curricular activities and entertainment, to name a few. Courts presume that parents with physical custody of a child will take care of the necessary expenses to raise the child. Thus, courts do not monitor the spending habits of a custodial parent unless the child's basic needs are not being met.

Exactly how a specific dollar amount is calculated is based on a state law and the particulars of parents' financial situation. Regardless of the amount received, it can go toward any number of financial costs associated with raising a child, like school expenses or daycare. Raising a child has no end of expense in sight. Extra money can really make a positive difference for a custodial parent who may otherwise struggle to pay the child's expenses.

A child also needs emotional love and support from both parent, but the financial aspect is very important as well. Only after seeking child support will a custodial parent know the exact dollar amount they could potentially receive. It is in the best interests of the child to have support from both parents.

Source: FindLaw, "What does child support cover?," Accessed Feb. 27, 2016

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