When a couple that shares a child severs their ties, the court will most often set the terms of the child’s living arrangements through child support and custody orders. Depending on the circumstances, the court will direct the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent.
Child support is meant to take care of the child’s day-to-day needs like housing, food, education, clothing and healthcare. However, it is not uncommon for a dispute to arise amongst parents regarding what child support can or cannot do.
What can you spend child support on?
First, it is important to understand that Florida divorce courts do not require parents to show how they are spending child support funds unless the child’s core needs are being neglected. The basic assumption is that the custodial parent will take the best interests of the child into account when utilizing child support.
- The child’s basic needs: Obviously, the child needs food, clothing and proper accommodation. At the very basic, child support should go towards purchasing groceries, paying rent and clothing for the child. If child support is not going towards these payments, then the court may intervene.
- The child’s educational needs: If the child is in a daycare or is attending a private school, the divorce settlement should spell out who will be paying for the tuition. If it does not, the court may direct the non-custodial parent to contribute towards the child’s daycare or education through child support.
- The child’s extra-curricular activities: Children need entertainment. These include television programs, sports and camping trips among others. Child support can go towards reasonable entertainment costs. Child support can also pay for extra-curricular programs like after-school sports and clubs like boy scouts.
As you can see, a lot goes into raising a child. However, if you are concerned that the custodial parent is misappropriating child support, it may be time to learn more about your legal options.