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What Should Child Support Be Used For?

Apr 15, 2023 | Child Support, Arizona Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support Lawyer, Separation

In a contentious divorce, one sticking point may be how child support payments are used. Often the spouse who is asked to pay child support feels it has the potential to be misused. 

The goal of child support is to ensure that one parent is not left covering all the expenses of caring for the couple’s mutual child. At the bare minimum, child support should be used to pay for the child’s basic needs like shelter, food and clothing.

The fact is, child support payments could be misused because the parent receiving child support does not have to account for how he or she uses those funds.  Additionally, there are so many unexpected expenses that come up when raising children! That’s why child support payments can be used for school lunches, school tuition, day care, medical insurance, extracurricular activities, even toys or other entertainment. 

To ensure that child support payments are being used appropriately, there should be an agreement in place. This can be set up by a judge but it is difficult to enforce and may also be difficult to change if needed. Very rarely do courts order parents to itemize how the money is being spent, so proving misuse may be difficult.  However, an agreement on how child support funds can spent may encourage the parent receiving those funds to abide by the agreement.

In most cases when issues a child support order, the court will consider the income of both parents, the standard of living the child is used to, day care costs, parenting time, medical insurance costs, and the amount of money that would have been spent on the children if the couple stayed together to determine the final payment.

If you are having trouble coming to an agreement about child support payments, this is a good area to involve an attorney. Attorneys who have seen divorces play out over the years will know exactly how to help you create an agreement on how child support funds should be used.

Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.