Child Support Isn’t Being Used for the Kids- What to do

You’ve been court ordered to pay child support every month and whenever you see your ex, it’s apparent that it is not being used for the kids. How do you handle this type of situation, and is there any recourse?

First, you need to look at the circumstances all together, such as how do you know the support is not being used on the child/children? What led you to this assumption? Are the kids being neglected? This is stuff that you will need to think about and prove before going around making these accusations. You don’t want to get a reputation of trying to get out of your monetary obligation.

Proving that child support isn’t being used for it’s intended purpose, is a hard pill to swallow. Unless your ex is a drug addict or completely neglecting the kids, you will have a hard time proving that the money is being spent elsewhere. The first place that you can start is by speaking to the kids. Find out, if they are getting the things that they need. Some may say don’t get the kids involved, however you need to be able to substantiate your claims.

If you believe that you have enough proof, to back up your claim, you should get with your attorney, or an attorney that specializes in family law, for guidance. You will then be able to set a date for court to speak to the judge. Although, usually something like this is settled out of court. There could be a requirement to prove that the child support is being used on the children.

So, what do you do if you have no proof of where the child support funds are going? However, you have a “gut” feeling? Well, cases aren’t made based on gut feelings, so you will have to find the proof. In the mean time, speaking to an attorney will be a step in the right direction.

If yo are being asked for additional fund on top of the child support that is being provided, then you may have a plausible case, however you still need to get legal advice to find out how this can be handled. The judge may view it as the child support is for food, shelter and clothing, if the ex is needing assistance with extra items, outside of those parameters and you give it up, then you have yourself in bind. Simply because it is like you are contradicting yourself- your saying one thing but then giving the ex more money.

One way to get around this, is giving the money directly to your kids, or require that any additional money needs to have receipts to prove what the funds are being used for. This will help in proving what you suspect. However, if you are receiving proof regarding additional funds and that everything is being used on the kids, then your ex can plea to the courts to have your child support increased.

No matter what you do or decide to do, always make sure to speak with an attorney or have things legally documented. This will avoid any he said, she said scenarios. At any measure, you always want to avoid any disagreements or slandering. Most importantly, if it can be handled out of court between attorneys, that would be the best recourse.

If you are the designated parent responsible for providing child support for your kids, it is understandable that you might have concerns about how the money is being spent. These concerns are particularly valid in cases where your divorce has been acrimonious, and when there is residual resentment and strained communication between you and your ex-spouse.

Generally speaking, the purpose of child support is to insure that the basic needs of the child(ren) – food, shelter, clothing, education, health, and a safe mode of transportation – are being met by both parents. A secondary purpose of child support is so the child benefits from any newly-found wealth or income that may come to either of the parents.

It’s very important to conceptually understand that the support payments are – in actuality – being given to the custodial parent, not to the child him/herself.  Therefore, it is the custodial parent’s right to decide how to utilize the support payments. Most child support laws don’t require the recipient parent to explain or quantify how the support payments are being spent. There is also no requirement to prove that the funds are being used only for the intended custodial child.

Another purpose of child support is to insure that the child is able to experience a similar lifestyle in each parent’s home. In other words, a child should not feel poor in one parent’s home, and rich in the other parent’s home. A disparity in the economic climates of the homes would cause even more stress and confusion in the child’s already tumultuous life. Family courts believe that a child has the right to enjoy a good, stable life in both parent’s homes; at all times, and in all cases.

If, after understanding these basic points, you still feel that there is serious misuse of your child support payments, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced family law attorney. There are several important reasons that you should seek professional legal counsel:

• Not every state handles child-support disputes in exactly the same manner. A qualified lawyer will be able to correctly interpret the specific laws that apply in your state;

• By initiating a dispute over child support payments, you are essentially inviting the courts to reassess the previously mandated monthly payment. Depending on the financial documentation presented by your ex-spouse, it’s possible that the court could decide in favor of him/her and actually raise your monthly support payment;

• In any situation that involves family disputes, emotions can run high and situations can quickly turn volatile. Maintaining all important communications regarding child support within the professional environment of a lawyer’s office will lessen the chances of heated conversations that might be regretted in the future.

Child support issues are extremely important to the quality of life of your children. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you seek out licensed and experienced domestic litigation attorneys to discuss all your legal options before making important

decisions.