How Do I Know Child Support Is Being Spent Properly?

Updated on 06/15/2022 / Under

When most parents fulfill their legal obligation of paying the child support amounts they owe to the custodial parent their assumption is that the parent using the money that they have received to care for the child. Most of the times they are right and that is what the custodial parent is doing. Even as this is the cases, not every parent will be responsible as is expected. There are parents that use the money that they receive from child support for their own selfish gains. Most people often wonder, how do I know child support is being spent properly if they are suspicious that the money is being wasted.

As a non custodial parent that has the financial burden of making child support payments, it can be challenging for you at times depending on your financial circumstances. Even so, as a parent you understand the importance of paying child support award since the payments that you make go towards benefiting your child. Since you make these payments you hope and at times want to be sure that the custodial parent is spending the money that you are paying for child maintenance. You should evaluate a few issues and get advice on child support from an experienced child support lawyer before making a decision on the child support issue you have.

How Child Support is Used

The financial support payments made to the noncustodial parent for the child are intended to be used by the children. Even so you should understand that according to family court there are a lot of expenses that can be paid using child support. The custodial parent can spend the money that they receive paying for things like medical care, educational expenses, food, clothes, pocket expenses and other special expenses. The parent can as well spend the money on household items and bills that may be needed such as groceries, utility bills, or living expenses. Instead of immediately spending on child support the parent can as well save the child support money to pay for the child’s education in the future or another range of necessities that the child might have.

According to family court, things like gifts bought for kids, meals from restaurants, trips during the weekend to amusement parks or other extracurricular activities can be considered a basic need for kids.

Learn More: How is Custody Determined in Illinois?

If by any chance you come to find out that your former spouse is using child support funds on themselves or they are using the money in ways that are not in the best interest of the child then it can be an issue for concern. There are a variety of ways that child support funds can be spent outside the original purpose it is intended for. However, before you make the decision to bring the issue up in court you should make sure that you have solid evidence that the standard of living of your children is being tampered with.

child support payments

Pick Battles That are Worth Fighting – Can You Go to Court?

Legally it is allowed for child support to be used to pay for a lot of things and the money does not have to be used directly on the child. Since the money can be used to pay for household expenses and not only for the basic necessities of the child it can be hard to prove that the money is being misused. The money has to be used in a way that is benefitting the child.

Because of this reason if you are going to challenge your ex-spouse in court so an accounting on child support money can be carried out you should have a good reason. The court will not really be bothered if there is no proof or if it is clear to them that the parent is just wasting the time of the court fighting with the other parent about money that the parent has the right to use in the child’s best interest within their discretion.

However, if you have solid proof that the custodial parent is wasting child support it can help prove your point. If, for example, they use social media to state or insinuate that they are using child support to buy expensive things for themselves or there is video evidence stating that you can use this a cause to request for an account of your support payments. You will as well have to show proof that the environment that your child is living in is not safe, they are not being fed, and they are not being well clothed.       

child support is being spent

If as a non-custodial parent you strongly believe that your kids are not being well taken care of because the parents receiving the money is spending the money inappropriately you can a file a motion with a family court in your state and a get a hearing date. The judge will be responsible for determining if there is a good reason for child support accountability to be carried out. If it is proven that your ex-spouse is squandering the child support money and the children are in no way benefitting from the payments the family court judge can make a child support decision that requires them to pay the money back of they will face contempt of court.

Is It Possible to Monitor How Child Support Is Being Spent?

It is hard to track how monthly child support is being used. This is because once the monthly child support the parent that receives support is legally obligated to use their better judgment to allocate funds to the child. In most states there isn’t a proper system put in place that requires that the parent receiving child support to mention how much of the money is being spent and how. However, if you see something of concern it is advisable to hire a family law attorney, tell them the details of your case and they can advise you if going to court would be the best action to take.

What Child Support Covers

Sometimes what causes disagreement about child support is the misconception that people have about wide variety of issues it is supposed to cover.

There are individuals that believe that child support is meant to cater for the direct needs of the child and take care of the necessities they require. However, child support is not only meant to meet the needs of the child but as well to maintain their standards of living even after the parents separate or after they get divorced.

Related Content: Getting Divorced With Children

For this reason child support is meant to cover a broad range of expenses that are used to maintain the household. It is important to obtain knowledgeable child support information from a an experienced child support lawyer before filing a case against the recipient of child support which can end up doing more harm than good.

What Should You Do?

If you are worried about there being misuse of child support it is possible to get a written agreement with the custodial parent about financial statements and other arrangements so you can have more control over the situation. You can agree to make direct payments for specific expenses so you have a reduction in finances of what the custodial parent receives.

If want to have a detailed discussion about child support matters with an experienced attorney contact Ktenas Law and let a child support attorney analyze your schedule your case strategy session.