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Understanding the real purpose of child support

While many Illinois couples would like to believe that their divorce is only impacting their own personal lives, divorce has a bit of a rattling domino effect and can create tension, stress and instability in the lives of everyone closest to them. Unfortunately, this is especially the case for divorcing couples who have had children together. Often, children are left grappling for answers and trying to relearn how to function in a new life that has been turned upside-down. 

Child support is allocated in many cases to help provide relief to the custodial parent so he or she is not fully responsible for covering the financial costs of raising the couple's shared children. According to Live About, the amount awarded for child support is decided based off of several factors. Some of these include the following:

  • The income of both of the parents.
  • The unique needs of each child.
  • Special health care needs and concerns for each child.
  • The child's standard of living before his or her parents got divorced.
  • Whether or not the non-custodial parent is capable of providing for him or herself and the children.

What divorcing couples should remember is that child support is intended to help cover some of the pressing costs of caring for a child, but it was not created or given for random expenses. Some of the things that child support does not cover according to the Huffington Post include the following: 

  • Academic tutoring
  • College funds
  • Private lessons
  • Daycare
  • School photos
  • Sports equipment and fees

Parents should always remember that if they desire for their child's life to be enriched in various ways, they cannot rely on their ex to fund every single opportunity. Often, paying for these types of extracurricular, enrichment and hobby-like experiences requires both parents to share financial responsibility. 

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