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What if I don’t agree with how my ex spends child support?

Life can be challenging for divorced parents, whether they are the custodial parent or the one who sees the kids on the weekends. As the parent who pays child support, you understand that your ex-spouse has difficulty making ends meet, but money can be tight for you as well. A big chunk of your paycheck goes toward supporting your children. Like other Indiana parents who pay child support, you may be concerned with how the money is being spent.

As FindLaw explains, child support is meant for your children’s physical and emotional well-being. This does not, however, mean you can ask your ex for receipts to prove your child support went to something worthwhile, or that you can tell him or her how the spend the money. After you pay child support, the receiving parent has the right to spend the money as he or she sees fit. Child support can be spent on basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter, for your children’s education and extracurricular activities or for counseling, medication and doctor’s appointments. It is also considered appropriate for child support to be spent on things you might deem unnecessary, such as restaurant meals and gifts – provided your children’s physical needs are met.

Does this mean you can do nothing if you feel your ex is spending child support frivolously? You may have legal recourse if you suspect your children are being neglected or abused physically or emotionally. Addressing your concerns with the court would require reasonable proof and experienced counsel; therefore, this information should not be taken as legal advice.

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Robert Schembs
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