Does Child Support Cover School Lunches?

children, three boys, in school cafeteria getting served lunch

Understandably, financially supporting a child following a divorce can prove challenging for the custodial parent as they go from two incomes to one. As such, the state of Massachusetts requires that both parents continue to provide for their children until they reach the age of emancipation to ensure their best interests. Child support is intended to cover a child’s basic needs. Please continue reading to learn what child support can be used for in Massachusetts and how our knowledgeable Bristol County Child Support Lawyers can help you understand your rights. 

What Expenses Are Covered By Child Support in Massachusetts?

Child support is an ongoing, periodic payment that the non-custodial parent makes for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage. Since the custodial parent has the child for more of the time, they are spending more money on the child. As such, child support can be used to cover the following expenses:

  • Necessities: Child support is intended to cover a child’s essentials, such as food, clothing, and shelter; this includes groceries, snacks, beverages, shoes, jackets, and other appropriate clothing. Regarding housing expenses, child support can be used to pay mortgage, rent, telephone, internet, and utility bills.
  • Medical care: Generally, child support will cover the child’s medical and dental expenses. This includes health insurance premiums, co-pays, and uninsured medical costs. In most cases, the parent with better employee-covered benefits will have the child under their health insurance policy.
  • Educational expenses: It’s essential to understand that education is not free. Child support can cover part of the tuition if a child attends a private school. However, child support can also contribute to the costs associated with public school expenses, including uniforms, fees, textbooks, private tutors, and lunch money.
  • Transportation: Children need a way to safely get from one place to another. As such, child support can be adjusted to allow for basic travel costs, including the costs associated with maintaining a vehicle, such as gas fees, car payments, and insurance.
  • Childcare: If one or both parents cannot care for their children due to work-related responsibilities, they can use child support to cover the costs of childcare expenses, such as daycare services and babysitters.
  • Extracurricular activities: These funds can also be used to cover any expenses related to activities outside of regular school hours, such as after-school programs, summer camp, sports activities, music lessons, and other recreational activities that benefit the child.

Can Child Support Cover School Lunches?

Generally, child support can contribute to the costs associated with the child’s education, including school tuition, fees, uniforms, and school lunches. Under Massachusetts law, child support guidelines include payments towards any food and beverages on behalf of children, regardless of whether they are purchased for consumption in the home or outside the house. This means child support funds can be used to cover school lunches.

If you have questions regarding your child support arrangement and what it can be used to cover, please don’t hesitate to contact an adept lawyer from The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to represent your legal needs.