Can I Get Proof of What My Ex Spends Child Support Money On?

July 10, 2019

If you and your partner go through a divorce and you have a child, then you will have to come to an agreement as to who will have custody of the child (and what visiting days and hours will be like). If you can’t come to an agreement, the court will make a decision. However, one thing’s for certain — whoever doesn’t get primary custody of the child will be required to pay the parent who has custody child support. It doesn’t matter whether or not the parent with custody makes more than the parent without custody, the parent without custody is still responsible for providing child support. In many cases, this will be very straight forward. Unfortunately, there may be cases in which the parent paying child support is unsure as to whether that child support money is actually being used to the child’s benefit. If this is the case for you, then odds are you’ll want to find out how your money is being spent.

The Use of Child Support Payments

The money that you are paying to your ex-partner for child support is meant to go towards the care of your child. The court will order your employer to withdraw child support payments from your paycheck automatically and the Child Support Enforcement Agency will transfer it to the other parent.

As far as what child support is supposed to pay for, this varies from state to state. However, child support isn’t just directly for the child’s benefit. For example, child support money can be used to pay for the child’s food, clothing, medical expenses, childcare, child’s extracurricular activities, school fees and supplies, the child’s entertainment as well as utility bills, cell phone bills, Internet bills, rent, mortgage payments, and other expenses that contribute to the child’s general welfare.

Even though child support payments are meant to help with the general welfare of the child, the parent who has primary custody of the child is not legally required to account for how they are using the money you are paying them. It’s important to understand that your child support payments aren’t just meant to cover the main essentials of the child’s upbringing — they are supposed to help improve the quality of life. As such, the parent with primary custody can use the payments as they see fit.

However, if you think that your child support payments are being used to fund the parent’s own lifestyle (for example, they are using the money to buy designer clothes or are regularly going on vacation while leaving the child behind), then you’ll want to take action.

Unfortunately, as long as the basic needs of the child are being met, you can’t request proof of how your child support payments are being met. If you don’t think your child’s basic needs are being met despite your child support payments, then you certainly have a case. The first thing you should do is consider mediation. This can help clear up potential misunderstandings.

Speak With an Attorney Today

As a parent paying child support, you cannot request proof of how your payments are being used. Your only course of action is to speak with a lawyer — and only if you think your child’s basic needs aren’t being met despite your child support payments. If you’re having issues with your ex-spouse as a result of child support, contact me today to discuss your concerns.