Can Child Support Be Spent on Something Other than The Child?

By Law Office of Karen S. Brown

When going through a divorce with a child or children involved, the court will decide how you and the other parent will share financial responsibility or if one party will take full responsibility. 

Child support helps you to meet your kids’ needs, allowing them to live as they would if both parents were in the same house. But can the custodial parent spend the support money on something other than the kids’ personal needs?

Yes, Child Support Can Be Used for A Wide Variety of Things

Child support ensures your child’s needs are met, including food, clothing, health, education and entertainment. However, it can also be used on other expenses, such as rent, utility bills, car maintenance and so on. Essentially, if it’s used by the kids, it can be covered with child support.

When Should You Be Concerned About how Child Support Is Spent?

Since the custodial parent doesn’t have to track how they spend child support, it can be difficult to notice misuse. However, if you believe your child is in actual harm, perhaps their health, safety, education and overall well-being are neglected, you should be concerned. And in most instances, they are the ones who will inform you of this. For example, if they tell you that they don’t have enough food at their other parent’s home, that may be a valid cause for concern.

It will be best to contact the other parent to understand what happened. However, if the issue continues, you can take the matter to court for an investigation to be conducted.

The custodial parent doesn’t need to show how they use child support. However, if unusual things happen that leave your child’s needs unmet, it may be time to explore other legal options.