When it comes to how a recipient spends child support, there is a lot of disagreement. Many payees argue that child support should only cover the most basic and essential of living expenses, such as food, housing, clothing and school-related costs.
Recipients, on the other hand, claim it should cover a broad range of expenses, from medical fees to entertainment to transportation. Though state laws vary, and though no states currently have a way to regulate child support spending, most take a widely accepted stance when it comes to certain expenses, such as vacations.
Maintaining the same standard of living
According to FindLaw, the courts consider several factors before setting a support amount. The two most relevant factors are a parent’s ability to pay and the financial needs of the child. The courts also give considerable weight to a third factor: The child’s existing standard of living.
If a child is accustomed to going on monthly, quarterly or annual vacations with his or her parents, the courts will likely factor in the cost of vacations when determining support. Vacation expenses may include but are not limited to the cost of flights, hotels, attractions, food and other forms of entertainment.
Child support covers entertainment
Speaking of entertainment, many courts maintain the stance that children have an inherent right to basic entertainment. While “basic entertainment” typically refers to video games, internet access, television, computers and tablets, it can also include travel. For example, camping trips, amusement parks, movie theaters and other types of outing may qualify as entertainment, in which case, child support should cover it.