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How is a custodial parent supposed to use child support payments?

Child support is a way for a non-custodial parent to help provide his or her child with the things he or she needs to live. As most people understand, one parent can be ordered to pay the other parent child support. Generally, these payments are made in an amount specified by the court. Beyond that point, some people have a misunderstanding about what exactly child support is.

What is child support meant to cover?

Child support is meant to cover a child’s basic needs, such as shelter, food and clothing. This can include the utilities at the home where the child lives. It might cover childcare costs, transportation costs and expenses related to education. In some cases, it might cover medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. It can also cover college expenses, activities the child wants to participate in and entertainment. Essentially, it can cover anything that helps the child to live a healthy, comfortable and enriched life.

What if I think my child’s parent isn’t using child support on my child?

This is a difficult position to be in. Generally, courts won’t require the recipient parent to show proof of how he or she spends the child support payments. An exception might be made if the child’s basic needs aren’t being met. If that occurs, there might some court intervention as to how the payments are being used.

If you have been ordered to pay child support, it is vital that you pay in accordance with the order. If you feel the child’s needs aren’t being met or if you need to have the order changed, you should explore your options for taking that up with the court.

Source: FindLaw, “What Does Child Support Cover?,” accessed Feb. 02, 2016

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