Child support payments may be comingled with household funds

Child support ensures that both parents are helping to cover the cost of rearing the child. This is sometimes a very contentious matter, but it is one that must be resolved. It is imperative that the adults in these matters remember that support payments are meant to provide a good life for the child.

When you pay child support, your ex is only the conduit for your child to get money. You can't really hand a child money and expect them to manage it responsibly. A four-year-old isn't going to pay the electric bill and buy food with a child support payment. Instead, you pay the money to your ex so that he or she can pay what needs to be paid.

Often, it is hard for the paying parent since they don't actually see how their money goes toward the child's needs. Child support funds can be combined and commingled with other household income, and the recipient is not obligated to track how it is spent.

Far better than trying to account for every cent, a parent should observe whether the child's needs are being adequately met. For instance, does the child:

  • Have a roof over their head?
  • Eat regularly and healthfully?
  • Have utilities on at the home?
  • Have clothes?
  • Have school supplies?

If you answered yes to these, there is very little chance that your ex is misusing the child support funds since the child has life's basic necessities. If you do have serious concerns about where the money is going, e.g., if your child's needs aren't being met, you can turn to the court for assistance.

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