When couples go through a divorce, one of the most contentious issues between the couple is child custody, something a child custody lawyer Tampa, FL trusts knows well. In many cases, the child will spend more time with one parent than they do with the other. When this is how custody is divided, then the parent who the child is with less is often ordered to pay the other parent child support.
Having to pay child support often upsets paying parents who may resent the fact that they are “giving money to the ex.” What often gets lost in the process is that the money that is paid for child support goes to help provide for the child. When the court orders parents to split other “extra” expenses, such as childcare, health insurance, and extra-curricular activities, the paying parent often becomes more aggravated, believing he or she is “supporting” their ex.
This leads many parents to ask the question, how should child support be spent.
The Cost of a Child
When you have a child living in your home, household expenses are typically more than they would be if there was no child in the home. For example, because the child needs their own bedroom, you need a bigger home or apartment than you would if you lived alone. This means a higher rent or mortgage payment. Having a bigger space also means higher utility bills for heating, and an increase in the use of electricity and water that the child uses.
A custodial parent may also need a larger vehicle than they would if they had no children. This can mean a larger car payment.
There are basic necessities that every child needs. Food is obviously one necessity. Clothing is another. But keep in mind that children grow, often quickly. Last year’s winter coat has been grown out of, as has last year’s winter boots. One good growth spurt can mean shoes no longer fit and pants have become three inches too short overnight.
Children also need toiletries and healthcare that may not be covered by health insurance. The list goes on and parents who receive child support are likely paying for some of these items with the money the paying parent is sending.
Anyone who has children attending school understands that it can feel as if all you are doing is giving your child money for one activity or another. Field trips, school store, and fundraisers are always going on. And even elementary school students start the school year with a list of required – and expensive – school supplies that parents need to purchase. Child support may be going towards these expenses.
It is important to realize that the money you pay for child support goes to support your child, likely in ways that you cannot see. However, if you have evidence that the receiving parent is not using the child support money on the needs of your child but is instead going towards expenses that do not benefit your child in any way, contact a family law attorney to see what steps you can take to modify or change the way the money is dispersed so you can be sure the funds are being used for your child.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The McKinney Law Group for their knowledge about child support law.