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Is it the court's business what I spend child support on?

You receive child support to help you meet your children's needs, whether emotional or physical. Raising a child on your own is not easy, and like most custodial parents in North Carolina, you need the other parent to contribute. Does this mean your ex can dictate how you spend the child support you receive from him or her? Your ex-spouse may have threatened to get the family law court involved if you do not prove that every dollar of child support you spend is on the children.

Fortunately, as FindLaw explains, the law does not require you to keep records on your child support spending or tell the court where the money goes. You also do not need to tell your ex how you spend the money. There are no restrictions on how you spend child support, but keep in mind that its purpose is for your children's well-being. It would be within your rights to spend child support in the following ways:

  • Basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and electricity
  • Doctor's visits, counseling, co-pays and medicines
  • School fees, classroom supplies and extra-curricular activities
  • Entertainment, such as birthday party supplies, movie tickets, restaurant meals and gifts

What happens if your ex complains that you do not wisely spend the child support you receive? As long as your children's needs are being met and you are fulfilling the obligations the court outlined in your divorce decree about parenting and visitation arrangements, your spending habits are nobody else's business. In rare cases, a family law judge or child protective services may become involved if there is reason to believe a child's emotional or physical safety may be at risk - otherwise, the court will not keep tabs on your child support spending.

Co-parenting can be difficult at the best of times. If your ex questions your parenting or spending methods, it may help to speak with a family law attorney.

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110 Oakwood Drive, Suite 410
Winston Salem, NC 27103

Phone: 336-701-6521
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