Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

How can I spend my child support?

Child support comes as a great relief to single parents in California who are struggling to make ends meet. Whether the child support you receive from your ex-spouse is a lifesaver that helps you pay your bills or you consider it "extra" money, you may wonder if your spending will be monitored by the family law court. Even worse, what if your ex demands receipts and tells you how to spend the money?

It can be reassuring to learn that the money you receive from child support is yours to spend as you see fit, according to FindLaw. As you know, your responsibility is to ensure your children are happy, safe and secure. Therefore, you might use the money for immediate physical needs, such as food, clothing, medicine, doctor visits and utility payments. You can also spend child support on your kids' school items, extracurricular activities and tutoring.

Non-essentials may also be purchased with child support, which may surprise you. However, keep in mind that your children's emotional well-being is also essential. There is nothing wrong with using child support to buy a birthday present, a movie ticket or a nice meal out with your child. You might also choose to save the money for an emergency or for your children's future college fund.

As for your ex having the right to inspect your receipts, you don't need to worry about that either. The non-custodial parent's responsibility is to pay child support, but not to monitor the other parent's spending. You should not fear legal reprisal if you are fulfilling your obligations to keep your children healthy and happy. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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