Despite what you may have believed, child support payments to a custodial parent can be used for more than just life's minimal necessities of clothing, food and shelter. The purpose of child support is to assure that a child lives a normal life which otherwise may have been compromised by living in a single parent household with potentially less earnings than before the divorce. Courts always strive to make certain that the best interests of the child are met. This is true with both child custody and subsequently, child support.
Child support can be used for a variety of expenses. It can be used for medical expenses such as out of pocket medical costs like deductibles and copays, as well as costs that are not included in health insurance such as dental costs including checkups and braces, eye exams and glasses or contact lenses.
Payments may include leisurely expenses for your child such as toys, video games, and outings and vacations such as trips to the movies, sporting event, concerts, musicals and plays, and parties with friends. It can also be used to cover expenses related to school and education such as extra-curricular activities such as club expenses, field trips and costs associated with musical instruments and sports equipment.
Costs that affect the custodial parent such as child care while the custodial parent works may also be covered, including nannies and even some trips during summer months such as summer camps and spring breaks. The purpose of child support is to minimize any chance that the child may suffer due to a lack of finances related to the divorce.
Source: findlaw.com, "What Does Child Support Cover?" Accessed Feb. 28, 2017