Do I have restrictions in how to spend my child support?

When you began receiving child support payments, you may have been under the assumption that the court might monitor your spending, especially since most payments are put on a debit card these days. If you spend child support electronically, will the courts or your ex receive receipts or reports on your spending? What if you use a portion of your child support check on candy, a birthday present or household cleaning supplies? These are not unreasonable worries for Missouri parents who receive child support, but the answer can help ease your mind.

According to FindLaw, acceptable expenses for child support are interpreted broadly by the courts. As you know, child support is intended to help you meet your children’s needs and give them a happy, comfortable and secure life. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to spend the money on food, clothing, rent, utilities and other items that directly apply to your children’s well-being. On the other hand, expenses you might feel are non-essential, such as gifts, candy bars and movie tickets, can also contribute to your children’s emotional well-being and are considered acceptable uses for child support. Household items, cleaning supplies and other items that are not directly related to your children’s care may also apply, since they help you keep a clean, orderly and hygienic home for them to live in.

You should also not have to worry about your ex being allowed to keep tabs on you or the courts snooping on your spending. You have rights to your privacy, and when you are meeting your children’s needs, your child support spending should not be monitored. This information, however, is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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