After a divorce or breakup, parents will have many decisions to make about how to cooperate in the raising of their children. Some parents can address many of these decisions on their own, but others are too risky to resolve without the backing of the court. Child support is one of those issues that the court decides for the child’s protection. While every state has its own formula for calculating the amount of child support a non-custodial parent may pay, the use of that money also falls under careful regulation.
While the funds may go to the custodial parent, the court intends for the parent to use the money for the child’s needs. This may include supplementing the expenses of the custodial parent, such as rent or mortgage, car payments and utility bills, since the child also benefits from these items. A parent may also spend monthly payments on the following for the child:
- Medical care
- Toys, books and other objects of interest
- Furniture for the child’s room
- School supplies
Child support rules may not cover every item the child needs. This is why it is wise for parents to think ahead and come to an agreement about such expenses as daycare, college and extra-curricular activities. Additionally, child support must never pay for a parent’s personal expenses, such as new clothes, salon visits or evenings out, even if there is a surplus of funds at the end of the month. The courts will likely consider this an abuse of child support.