Child Support and How It Is Spent
If you have been through a divorce and are now receiving child support for your children, you know exactly how critical those payments are to maintaining a happy home for your children and for supporting their continued well-being. If your ex questions exactly what it is you are spending that child support on, you are likely feeling both insulted and upset. As anyone who has ever raised children knows, it is a very costly proposition. If you have questions or concerns about child support payments, consult with an experienced Central Texas family law attorney today.
What Child Support Is Intended to Cover
The court calculates child support based upon standardized formulas that factor in the income of both parents, the standard of living your children have become used to, and any circumstances that may be unique to your situation and that may have a bearing on said calculation. While every penny of child support paid is intended to go toward your children’s needs, it is also true that nearly every penny spent on running your household is necessary to provide your children with a healthy home. In other words, it can be difficult to specifically identify how every cent of child support is being used in direct support of your children. The State of Texas recognizes this conundrum, and as such does not require parents to itemize child-support expenses.
The fact is that children are expensive:
They need a comfortable home in which to live.
They need to be fed and clothed adequately.
They need you to have reliable transportation to ferry them where they need to go and to pick them up afterwards.
They need safe and reliable childcare.
They need the extras that they have come to enjoy, including extracurricular activities, entertainment, school supplies, crafts, and toys.
In fact, the costs associated with raising children are difficult to overstate.
A Breakdown of Costs
If your ex is looking for a breakdown of how you use his or her child-support payments in support of your shared children, there is no need to concern yourself because the State of Texas requires no such accommodations. The court trusts you, as the parent with physical custody, to use your court-ordered child support to adequately provide for your children.
Exceptions to the Rule
While some states implement mechanisms for reporting out on how a parent spends child support, Texas does not. If the parent paying child support has serious and legitimate concerns, he or she can bring it up with either the child support agency or with the court. In general, however, you – as the custodial parent – will not be required to explain how you spend the child support you receive.