How can child support be spent?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Family Law

Whether you receive or pay child support, it’s important to know how it can or cannot be used. By doing this, you can prevent conflicts and complications caused by one person being unhappy about how the money is being used.

Child support is designed to give your child additional financial support to live a comfortable life. That money could be used in many ways, such as by using it to purchase groceries or to pay extra for a safer apartment near a school. It could be used to buy groceries, clothing or other necessities. It could also be used for a fun day at the movies or a short trip to another state as a vacation (if that’s permitted in your custody agreement).

There are no real rules stating how child support can or cannot be used, but you do need to make certain that it is being used in a way that supports your child.

What can you do if you think child support is being used incorrectly?

If you pay support and believe that it is being used incorrectly, it may be appropriate to speak with your attorney and the judge involved in your case. You will need to have supporting evidence to show that the money isn’t going toward your child in some way.

For example, you might notice that the other parent keeps going out and spending money on nice dinners or drinks with friends and that your child doesn’t have the clothing or shoes they need when they come to see you. In that case, you might argue that the money you are sending is being misused, especially if you are paying more than enough to support your child’s basic needs.

That being said, it is often difficult to prove that support is being misused. Even something like purchasing a new vehicle and using some of the support could be appropriate, since your child needs to be transported. So, while the other parent may be making adjustments in their life that use that money, as long as your child is benefitting from the extra support, the court may not see a problem.

This is something to discuss first with the other parent. If you can’t come up with a solution, then it would be helpful to look into your legal options.