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What am I allowed to spend my child support money on?

Child support is intended to help the custodial parent of a child pay for various expenses related to raising the child. As such, parents are only supposed to spend child support money on their children. Normally, the court does not require parents to document or show their expenses in this regard; however, in cases of suspected neglect or suspected dishonesty on the part of the custodial parent, a court might ask the parent to show a record of his or her childcare expenditures.

If a parent is audited like this, it helps to have a record of purchases -- through cash, check or credit card receipts and/or bank statements. Parents are, therefore, encouraged to keep a record like this. They're also encouraged to only spend their child support money on things that fit into the following categories:

  • Basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter
  • Medical care including dental care, eye care health insurance and other costs
  • School tuition and education costs
  • Child care-related expenses
  • Transportation costs related to car payments, gas, maintenance and other expenses
  • Basic entertainment like games, Internet, access to television, camping, the movies and other kinds of fun events.
  • Extracurricular events like summer camp, sports and more
  • College-related costs in some cases

Not only does the law entitle custodial parents to receive child support in most cases, but local government agencies and the court system will support you in holding your ex accountable for missed child support payments. Parents who have questions about how they can spend and use their child support money may want to learn more about how Pennsylvania treats this delicate issue.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does Child Support Cover?," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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