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Former spouses can’t dictate how child support is spent

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Child Support |

Some former spouses find themselves financially strapped. In Virginia, a divorced parent who pays child support might want to dictate how the other parent should spend that money, believing that paying that support gives him or her the right to say how it’s used. However, Virginia residents who receive child support payments have freedoms on how they can spend the money.

Even when a child support payor comes over as intimidating, he or she has no right to dictate child support spending. According to professionals, parents can use their own judgment regarding those support funds and the court stands by this as well. Of course, the funds are earmarked for the children’s well-being, but the payee can decide how to most wisely use the money to that end.

For instance, a parent who received child support on a child’s behalf may choose to spend some of that on school supplies or a school trip, clothes, extracurricular activities or whatever best suits the situation. Children need to feel included, safe, comfortable and secure, so child support may also be spent on rent and utilities, food and household items. The bottom line is if the money is spent on that which makes a child’s life positive, the court would not look down on it.

Children’s happiness is paramount, so if they want to go to the movies or to an event, child support funds can also be used for these things. It’s important that children be able to have fun with their friends. The only obligation a parent has regarding child support is that it is used to ensure children’s basic needs are always met.