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Can I Control How Child Support Money is Spent?



Can I Control How Child Support Money is Spent?

When you’re being asked to write a big check to your ex for care of the children, it’s natural to feel frustrated. If you don’t trust your ex it might seem like he or she is living it up while you’re struggling to survive.

And in most cases, you can’t control how the money is spent. Often, your child support payment gets co-mingled into the other parent’s income, and it isn’t necessarily easy for them to account for every dime.

What you can do is look to see whether your children’s needs are being met.

  • Are they eating three meals a day?
  • Do they have clean clothes that are in good condition?
  • Do their clothes and shoes fit?
  • Are they receiving necessary medical care?
  • Do they have their school supplies?
  • Are they attending school?
  • Do they have a place to live?
  • Are the utility bills being paid?

If all these things are true, then your money is being spent as it should. You can’t tell your ex that he or she shouldn’t have anything beyond these things in his or her life just to satisfy your desire to make sure your money is being spent appropriately.

If your ex is not meeting your children’s needs you should document instances that have demonstrated this, and instances where you’ve paid extra to address these problems. Be sure to save your receipts.

You can also have your lawyer bring the matter before the court. If you believe the money is being misused you might even be able to use it as cause to modify the custody order, which could turn you into the custodial parent. This would mean the other parent must pay child support instead. And of course, child neglect is a crime.

If you are in the middle of a divorce and have a concern you can consider trying to work an accountability provision into your divorce decree and support order. If your spouse is bound by court order, including orders generated by the settlement process, then he or she will have to produce a record of the way the money was spent.

You might also try to negotiate an in-kind support order where you pay directly for items the child needs. The court would have to be satisfied that this has actually happened, and that you’ll be doing it enough to satisfy Pennsylvania state support guidelines.

If you’re having problems with custody and support, don’t try to handle them alone. Contact Sadek and Cooper today for a free consultation.

See also:

Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents

8 Things to Avoid During Your Pennsylvania Custody Battle

How Technology Can Help You Co-Parent

Will My Child Have to Appear in Divorce Court?

These Co-Parenting Mistakes Will Get You Into Hot Water


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