Can I make my ex account for how child support is spent?

If you are a parent ordered to pay child support, you may not exactly enjoy the process of having a portion of your paycheck go to your ex every month. This can be especially true when you don’t like or trust your ex.

Under these circumstances, it can be very tempting to demand some sort of accounting of the child support payments you make. While this might make sense to you, the fact is that in most cases, parents who receive child support are under no obligation to keep records of their spending.

The reason why most parents won’t have to keep detailed records of how child support is spent is because financially, it would be very complex. Many expenses, like insurance, mortgages and car payments, benefit a child without being specifically a child-related expense.

Further, parents often pay for things like clothes, babysitters, groceries, school functions, rent and utilities out of their own pocket. When they receive child support check, it basically reimburses the receiving parent for expenses they have already covered.

If you and the other parent of your child are on fairly amicable terms, you could ask that the receiving parent keep you informed of what you he or she is paying for your child. While the receiving parent doesn’t have to comply, he or she could decide to share this information with you and help you see how your contributions are supporting your child.

But you should understand that the other parent is typically not required to do this.

However, there are exceptions and situations in which a parent may be ordered to keep track of spending. This could be the case if there are suspicions that a child’s needs are being neglected or if the parent receiving support is claiming that he or she needs more money than the courts ordered.

If you have concerns about how your ex is spending your child support, it would be wise to consult an attorney about your legal options. With legal guidance, you can adjust your expectations as a parent and learn about your options and parental rights.

Source:, “What Does Child Support Cover?” accessed on Sept. 12, 2016



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