Child support is a payment that is usually paid monthly by a higher-earning parent to the other, lower-earning parent. The support can be used for many things, including expenses that both directly benefit the child (like school clothing) and indirectly benefit the child (like the cost of a home in a better neighborhood in which the child can thrive).
What happens, however, if you’re paying support and you firmly believe that your child’s other parent is wasting the money on unrelated expenses? In those cases, it’s fair to talk to your attorney about seeking a modification in custody or support.
Here’s an example. If you pay $500 a month in child support to your ex-spouse and they complain that they don’t have enough money, you may sit down and think about how much more you can afford. However, if you find out that your ex is late on the rent and has a fridge without food because they’re spending money on gambling, going to sporting events or otherwise mismanaging the child support funds, then you would have a situation worth reporting. For your child’s own protection, you may need to seek a modification of custody.
Keep in mind that it can be extraordinarily difficult to prove that your child isn’t being properly cared for and that your support payments are being misused without ample supporting evidence. The receiving parent is under no obligation to account to you for how that support is paid. You may have to work with your custody attorney to strategically approach the modification request in order to be successful.