Itemizing a Child’s Needs

When the child support guidelines are inapplicable because a family’s net income exceeds the threshold of the Child Support Guidelines, a budget for the child or children must be created to specifically delineate their expenses so a court can evaluate the specific needs of the child or children.  This budget should include expenses such as work-related childcare, food (at home, at restaurants, at school), household products, including toiletries, clothing, haircare, sports and activities, camps, vacations, entertainment, gifts, and out-of-pocket medical expenses (such as co-pays, glasses/contact lenses, therapy). Moreover, if you maintain a family plan for expenses such as your cell phone plan, medical insurance, and car insurance, you should contact your provider and find out what the cost is for each of those expenses per child.

You should also itemize your child’s budget when you have a child who requires specialized food items, has food restrictions, and/or requires costly medical prescriptions and supplements each month. These expenses are undoubtedly more expensive than the average child’s costs in these particular categories and should be appropriately accounted for on the budget. To the extent that your child participates in competitive, travel, and/or high-cost sports and activities, or has special needs (gifted, disabled) that requires additional expenses, it is important to highlight these expenses as well. Itemizing your child’s budget will greatly assist when determining child support and best how to allocate expenses directly tied to the children fairly between the parents. A Case Information Statement is usually utilized to delineate the child’s expenses.

If you have questions about child support, itemizing a budget for your child or any other family law related issue, please contact our firm.  Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed LLC is focused exclusively on the practice of family law and serves clients throughout New Jersey including clients residing in Mercer County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Burlington County and Middlesex County.