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Does a parent have to show how they spend child support?

One aspect of divorce that will be new for many parents is either providing or receiving a child support payment. If you are paying child support, it can be a difficult adjustment. You go from being able to closely monitor how you financially take care of your children to providing a monthly payment with no understanding of how the money is being spent.

For some, sending a monthly check to an ex-spouse can be frustrating. This is especially true if there is no oversight or monthly breakdown on how the money was used. This causes many parents to ask if there is anything they can do to ensure that their money is used in the way it is intended.

What does child support cover?

During your divorce proceedings, the court uses certain formulas to determine the monthly child support payment. This is based on parental income, standard of living the child is used to and other factors that may be unique to the divorcing couple. Every cent of the support money that is sent should be for the child in some way. This includes clothes, food, shelter, school items, entertainment, utilities, childcare and toys.

Can child support be monitored?

If you are paying child support and want to receive a breakdown of how your payment was used, you will be disappointed. Once the amount is determined, it will be up to the parent receiving the payment to take care of all reasonable needs of the children. The courts make it clear to the parent with physical custody of the children to provide adequately for the children.

Some states have mechanisms in place where the parent receiving the child support must provide information on how the money is being spent. However, Texas is not one of those states. If the child support paying parent believes the money is not being used to take care of the children’s needs, that parent can bring up the issue to the child support agency or with the courts. But generally, the custodial parent in Texas will not need to state how child support is being spent.

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