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Expenses that are typically not calculated into child support

A divorcing couple must prioritize financial responsibility, particularly when child support is required. In Illinois, the court determines the amount of child support needed based on the number of dependents and the parent's income. While child support covers several expenses, there are certain things that are not covered. If you are currently negotiating child support, you may want to know what your payments do not cover so that you can plan accordingly.


Child support is not calculated based on vacations. The custodial parent is generally responsible for expenses related to trips. If you're responsible for child support payments, your funds will be designated for essential expenses only. You can be rest assured that your payments are not required to cover trips or luxurious outings.


Similarly, child support does not cover entertainment-related costs. If the other parent takes your child to movies, concerts, festivals or other similar events, they are very rarely counted into payment negotiations. More often than not they are determined to be optional expenses.

Extracurricular activities

It is a common misconception that child support payments fund extracurricular activities. Many parents stress over this as these activities can be quite expensive. Sports uniforms, athletic equipment, musical instruments and ballet shoes are examples of items needed for extracurricular activities. Sports, dance classes, and music lessons are typically not calculated into child support payments. While there are exceptions, it is uncommon.

Higher education

No parent is responsible for college expenses after enrollment. While some parents will choose to a fund for college, it is not a child support obligation. Sometimes contributing to a fund is not an option for parents whose living standards become worse following the divorce. Costs for textbooks, tuition, housing and other fees are generally not included in child support payments.

Medical care

Child support expenses typically do not include medical care, whether routine checkups, exceptional care or medication. At the same time, the parent may be consulted to contribute funds to ease the burden of expensive medical care. There are several options to explore if this happens.

If you are negotiating your child support payments and do not have a fair calculation, frustration is understandable. Understanding what is not required of you to pay is helpful. In some cases, you may need extra help to resolve the negotiations and ensure a fair calculation is made. Consulting a family law attorney can provide you with the necessary representation, support and advice to make it through the process.

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