Child support is often a contentious part of divorce proceedings. Custodial parents worry about obtaining a support order that meets the needs of their children. Parents obligated to pay child support may fear the co-parent will misuse this money.
Courts understand these concerns but lack the resources to check every expenditure a parent makes on behalf of their kids. As such, divorcing parents must trust that neither party will abuse the child support order, which exists to benefit the children of divorce and not the parents.
What should child support cover?
Child support funds cover, at the very least, the basic needs of children. That means the custodial parent may not use the money to pay for their own clothing or personal needs. Three of their most basic needs are food, shelter and clothing.
To provide for these basic needs, the custodial parent can use child support payments to buy groceries and clothes. They can also use it to pay their rent or mortgage and utilities like water, telephone service and electricity.
Other things for which child support can be used
Child support can and does cover other expenses when the paying parent has the means to do so. Examples include:
- Medical care
- Childcare costs
- Transportation costs
- Entertainment for the kids
- Educational fees and expenses
- Extracurricular activities and sports
Custodial parents not receiving child support and non-custodial parents concerned about expenditures should not attempt a solution themselves.
If you violate a child support order –even if you believe it is justified–it can lead to legal problems, worsening the situation for parents and children. Experienced guidance and knowledge of Georgia divorce and child support laws can help ensure a fair and legal solution.