Does Child Support Cover School Lunches?

children in line for school lunches

When two parents separate or divorce the dynamic of the family changes. There will now be two separate households and the children will probably split time between the two parents. Child support is designed for a noncustodial parent to provide monetary support to a custodial parent to cover expenses related to the child. When enrolling their child in school a parent may wonder if child support payments cover the cost of school lunches. Read on and speak with a Memphis, Tennessee child support lawyer for help.

Are School Lunch Costs Included in Child Support?

Child support costs are calculated to cover the child’s varying expenses. A major expense that a noncustodial parent helps contribute to is food. Growing children need plenty of food and nutrients to aid in the growth and development of muscles and their brain. Unless the child is homeschooled they probably attend school for several hours each day. The child may bring their own lunch or they may participate in school lunches.

Many schools offer programs for students to receive a hot or cold lunch each day during their break. While the daily costs of school lunches are fairly low, coming in at an average of $1 to $5 per day in Tennessee, those costs can add up quickly. The cost of school lunches can be included when calculating child support payments.

What Other Expenses Are Covered By Child Support?

In addition to school lunches, there is an abundance of expenses that child support covers. The items included in child support calculations will vary from family to family as every child and their needs are unique. However, the following expenses are generally taken into consideration when determining child support payments.

  • Housing expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, heat, electricity, water, etc.
  • Food and grocery costs
  • Clothing
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Medical care and expenses like doctor visits, medication, therapy, etc.

Child support is designed to ensure that the noncustodial parent is financially contributing to the child’s needs. They are not expected to fund personal expenses for the other parent, only for the child’s share of daily living costs.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Courts are interested in looking out for the best interests of the child or children. When determining the cost of child support they will examine various relevant information to ensure that their calculations are fair for the child, custodial parent, and noncustodial parent.

One of the most important factors in determining child support is the financial status of each parent. The court will examine both party’s income, assets, and debts to determine their ability to pay.

They will also consider the costs of raising the child or children including their education, food, clothing, and medical expenses. The amount of children the two parents share will also play a part in the amount of child support that a noncustodial parent will have to pay.

Once these factors have been evaluated the court will calculate the percentage of income that a parent should pay to fairly contribute to raising the child.