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Can spouses be forced to show how child support is spent?

Dear Clients and Friends,

Disputes on how child support is being spent are fairly common. But whether a parent can be forced to explain how the money is actually being used depends greatly on over-all circumstances and varies from state to state.

In Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri, parents can be forced to show what expenses they’ve paid on their child’s behalf and can demonstrate that it’s legitimately necessary to do so.

In California and most other states, parents do not have to submit an accounting to the court for their child support spending. It is likely that the custodial parent will spend some of the money on personal needs. If a non-custodial parent complains, the courts are not likely to be concerned. On the other hand, child support is meant to be used to support children. To grossly misuse those funds for other purposes will be of concern to the courts.

Child support orders, as well as custody and visitation orders, are always modifiable until the child reaches the age of 18. Modifications will be made if a parent can show that circumstances have changed. If a parent can prove that the other parent isn’t using the child support payments as they were intended, that will only serve as part of the evidence that circumstances have changed.

Do make a no-charge call to see if we can be help to you, or one near to you, in a family law matter.



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