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It doesn't matter if you are receiving child support or making a monthly payment, it's important to understand what this covers.

Although every couple faces unique circumstances, there are a few basic items that child support is typically used for:

-- Food, clothing and shelter. These are basic necessities, meaning that child support payments should cover these expenses first.

-- Medical care. Children require medical care from time to time, and child support payments can be used to pay for everything from doctor visits to physical therapy.

-- Educational fees. This includes anything associated with a child's education, such as school fees and supplies.

-- Childcare. Does the child require childcare on a regular or on-and-off basis? Is this related to work schedules? If so, child support can be used to cover the expense of childcare.

-- Extracurricular activities. Children enjoy participating in a variety of extracurricular activities, including but not limited to sports, summer camps, music lessons, gymnastics and dance.

As you move through the divorce process, you should take the time to better understand how much child support will be paid from one parent to the other. Taking this one step further, get a better understanding of how this money is to be used.

If you're paying child support, you want to know that the money is going toward the appropriate expenses. If you're receiving monthly payments, you need to know how you are permitted to use the money.

With the right knowledge, you can be rest assured that all child support payments are actually benefiting the child.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed April 14, 2017

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