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Do Child Support Payments Cover the Cost of School Lunches?

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Child support is a court-ordered financial obligation that one parent has to the other in the event that they separate or divorce. It is difficult to raise a child alone as well as fund all of their expenses. Child support payment plans ensure that both parents continue to share the financial burden and responsibilities of their child or children. Some items included in the payment plan are more obvious than others. School lunches may not be the first thing on a parent’s priority list but they can be covered by child support along with many other expenses. If you are concerned about your child support agreement or need legal advice, reach out to a skilled Union County child support attorney.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

New Jersey courts calculate child support by first considering a number of factors. The needs of the child and each parent’s financial situation are the most important things that are evaluated when making these decisions. The following are considered during child support calculations.

  • The custodial parent’s income, assets, and debts
  • The noncustodial parent’s income, assets, and debts
  • The child’s expenses including clothing, food, education, medical, and more
  • The custody agreement and how much time each parent spends with the child

A court will calculate the combined net income of both of the parents. They will then compare it to the average cost of raising a child and divide the financial responsibility proportionately depending on individual incomes and custody times.

Are School Lunches an Expense Covered by Child Support?

Child support payments can be used to cover varying expenses, one of which is the cost of school lunches. New Jersey school lunches cost an average of $3 per day. While $3 does not sound like much, when you consider that New Jersey students are required to have at least 180 instructional days in a school year, lunch costs can total $540 or even more depending on the district.

Both parents, regardless of custody, are required to financially support their child and share the costs associated with them. If the child participates in a school lunch program it is an additional cost that can be included in the child support agreement.

What Can Be Included in Child Support Payments?

It is expensive to raise a child so it is unfair to expect one parent to cover the entirety of the child’s costs. Some expenses that are often included and covered by child support payments include the following.

  • Clothing expenses
  • Food and groceries
  • Housing expenses like rent, utilities, etc.
  • Health insurance and medical costs including medication, co-pays, etc.
  • Educational expenses like tuition, fees, supplies, uniforms, and school lunches
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Daycare or other childcare costs
  • Transportation costs to and from school, activities, etc.
  • Costs associated with any special needs

As stated there is a multitude of expenses that are required to raise a well-adjusted and healthy child. When the child lives with only one parent the majority of the costs fall on their shoulders. Child support payments help ensure that both parents are contributing financially to the well-being of their child.

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Our firm believes that exploring alternatives to litigation can greatly benefit our client. Our firm’s established mediation practice can help you resolve family law issues more efficiently, amicably and at a lower cost. If you are interested in knowing more about our mediation services, contact the firm to discuss your situation.

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– Bettyna J. –

“This firm and it's team are the best out there, hands down. Robyn Ross helped me through a difficult time. Something that should have been...”

– Nestor –

“Robyn navigated me through a difficult period and explained every piece of the process in great detail along the way. I know in the end...”

– Clarissa –

“Robyn Ross handled my two cases and won both, her passion and expertise was beyond a 5-star rating. She communicated with me through both cases...”

– Abdul –

“Liz represented me throughout a long and difficult divorce process. She was a godsend. Her knowledge, compassion, dedication, and commitment are unparalleled. I can not...”

– Peter –

“The hardest part of going through a divorce or separation is the children. I’m so thankful that I had this firm represent my case. Ross...”

– Paula –

“This is a great counsel team. Very knowledgeable, professional and compassionate. They also make you feel like you are their only client, very attentive!”

– Bettyna J. –

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