Justification For Spending Child Support
A parent who is ordered to pay child support to the other parent in order to provide for his child may also sometimes pay for other things for the child outside of the ordered payments, such as clothes and shoes. The parent may wonder whether paying for these extra items counts towards the court ordered child support, and whether it excuses the failure to pay child support.
The general answer to this is no. Unless part of the court order allows it, a parent cannot make child support payments through paying for other things. When a court orders a parent to pay child support, it is based on a statutory formula based on a parent’s income, and the parent is expected to make the monthly payment without the court requiring a showing from the receiving parent for what the money is spent on.
Child support payments can be used to pay for things that directly or indirectly relate to the child, such as paying for food, rent or mortgage, or utilities. Just because a parent receives child support does not mean the parent cannot take vacations with the children or otherwise spend money on things that may not be considered necessities. The parent who is ordered to make payments does not have a right to know exactly what the payments are spent on, and cannot ask for a child support reduction based on a claim that the other parent is improperly spending child support payments.
This means that a parent who is ordered to pay child support cannot unilaterally decide to provide other things in place of child support. Even if a parent thinks that the other parent is not properly spending money, or does not really need it, the parent who is ordered to make payments must make them or risk being in arrears and have interest charged on the past due payments.
If a parent is legitimately worried that a child is not well fed or clothed despite that parent paying court ordered child support each month, he can file a petition to change the parental responsibility. The parent can request that the child live with him, in order to ensure that the child’s needs are met. If the court finds that such a change is in the child’s best interest, the court is likely to order it. However, a parent should not seek for a change in order to avoid paying child support. If the court finds that this is the motivation behind a petition, it may work against the parent filing the petition.
Contact an Experienced Child Support Lawyer
When a court orders a parent to make child support payments, these payments are supposed to help support and provide for the child. If the parent who is ordered to make payments is not abiding by the court order, the other parent can enforce the order through various means. For more information on how you can enforce a child support order, or how to seek a modification on a child support order, contact our experienced child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida.