The financial burden of paying child support may be difficult at times, depending on your current financial circumstances. However, as a loving father, you understand that the payments are for the direct benefit of your children. You certainly want to make sure your ex-spouse is spending the child support money you send her as intended under the child custody agreement. In some cases, noncustodial parents in Texas who are paying child support become aware of evidence that their ex is not spending this money appropriately – for instance, on nonessential, frivolous items instead of for the basic needs of the children.
Acceptable and non-acceptable uses for child support
Child support money is intended for the benefit of the children. However, family law courts deem acceptable a wide range of expenses that may be paid for with this financial support. For instance, your ex may decide to spend the money on food, clothing, school supplies, or medicine for the children. Or, she may spend it on other necessities of the household, including rent or utility bills. Child support may also be saved for emergency situations or for the future costs of a child’s education.
Courts may even consider child support money spent on entertainment, such as restaurant meals, gifts for the children, or weekend trips to an amusement park as legitimate basic needs for children.
If, however, you discover that your ex is spending your child support money on herself or others for things that do not pertain to the support, welfare, and benefit of the children and the household, then you may have cause for concern. There are a number of ways that child support money can be spent outside of its proper use.
Can the way child support is spent be monitored?
If you are paying monthly child support and would like a delineated list of how your payments are being spent by your spouse, you will not be able to obtain this information. Once the amount of child support is determined by the court, the parent is responsible for receiving the payment and using her best judgment in allocating it to meet the needs of the children.
Texas does not have a system in place that requires the parent receiving child support to detail how the money is being spent. If you believe your ex is not using the money you sent to take care of your children’s needs, you have the option to raise the issue through an attorney in court or with the child support agency.
What to do if you suspect your child’s basic needs are not being met
If you suspect your ex is not properly taking care of your children’s emotional and physical needs with your child support payments, you can inform the authorities. You will need to provide them with evidence of neglect or abuse or that your child support is being spent in a manner that is illegal or harmful to your children. If you present this evidence, the authorities may move forward to protect your children.
If you suspect wrongdoing on the part of your ex-spouse in the way he or she is spending your child support payments, our child support attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm we are here to help resolve the situation on your behalf. To set up a free consultation, give us a call today at 254.680.4655 or use our contact form.