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What Does Child Support Cover?

People generally think of child support as only covering a child’s basic needs, like food, shelter, and clothing. However, most states, including Arizona, have guidelines outlining a whole spectrum of uses for child support payments.

Below, we’ve included several expenses that can be paid for with child support.

Basic Needs

All of a child’s basic needs can be paid for with child support. This includes food and shelter, in addition to less obvious needs like Internet, utilities, and clothing.


Education costs money. Even public schools generally have certain fees and expenses that parents must pay. Parents can use child support to pay for a child’s tuition, fees, and school supplies.

Child Care

Sometimes a parent with physical custody needs to earn a living. Child support can be used to pay for a babysitter or day care, so the parent can get to work every day.


Parents are often carting their kids around from school to after-school activities, and back home. Filling up the tank can be pricey. Child support can be used to pay for gas, car insurance, car payments, and public transportation costs.

Medical Care

Courts often require the parent with the best employee benefits to carry medical and dental insurance for a child. In cases of uninsured or extraordinary medical expenses, however, any co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket medical expenses can be paid for with child support.


Child support can even be used on ways to keep kids busy, including games, movies, trips, and Internet access.

Courts generally don’t monitor parents’ use of child support. However, if a child’s basic needs aren’t being met, authorities may scrutinize a parent’s allocation of child support payments.

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