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What are direct and indirect expenses related to child support?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2016 | Family Law

While there is no doubt that child support is important to the children and primary caregivers involved in a divorce, there can be confusion regarding child support rules. While parents were married, many just have a joint pool of money. If the kids need shoes, the family gets them some shoes. The kids have to go to preschool, so the family funds go toward preschool.

But what happens when a divorce divides the family funds? Well, assigning child support is family law’s way of continuing a sort of family fund — funds for the children. Every family is different, but many parents can bicker over what might be eligible to be covered with child support money. 

Kansas child support laws classify two types of expenses to which the ordered support is applied: 

Direct expenses

All kids should go to school, and many will participate in extracurricular activities with their school, place of worship or sports organization. The parent paying child support pays these costs directly to a third party. The costs could include supplies needed for the activity, including clothing, as well as the cost of school lunches, for example. 

Indirect expenses

There can be many indirect costs associated with raising a child. These are the costs that aren’t paid regularly to a third party but are still important to the needs of a child. Examples of costs that fit in the indirect expenses category include transportation, food, housing and utility costs tied to housing. 


The matter of child support in Kansas and Missouri is almost as complicated as it can be emotional to the parents. If you have more questions and doubts regarding what should be covered by child support, an experienced family law attorney in your state can more thoroughly explain state and federal regulations and how your unique family situation fits into the laws.