How can your ex use the child support you pay?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

One of the most common complaints from those who have to pay child support is that they feel like they’re actually supporting their ex. They worry that the other adult is using the money to finance their own lifestyle, rather than to take care of the children. 

When people complain about paying support, a typical counter-argument is that they should want to help their own children. But the predicament outlined above shows why they still feel that way. They do want to help their children and have no problem with monthly payments to do so, but they just think that’s not how their money is being used. 

Potential support uses

If you’re on either side of this situation, it’s important to start by considering what support money can be used for. It may include things like

  • Shelter
  • School
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Activities
  • Medical care

You can see how there may be some overlap. If a person uses the money to pay part of their mortgage, they may argue that they’re just paying for shelter for their child. Their ex may argue that they’re essentially buying their own home with child support funds. The same can be said for food, utilities and other shared resources. These are reasonable expenses, but you can understand how and why they may appear controversial.  

Have you found yourself in a complex discussion about the use of funds with your ex? Be sure you know all of your legal options. If the dispute erupts into a hearing about child support modification, you want to know that you’re on solid footing in court. 

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