When child support payments are worked out during a divorce, the money should go towards the welfare of your children. Here are a few things you should know about how your child support may be used once given to your child's other parent.
If your spouse works or is in need of daycare during the week, the child support payments can be used to cover these costs. You and your former spouse may choose to have the costs of daycare included in your child support payments without the court's assistance through your family law attorney. If, however, you have right of first refusal, your spouse has to offer you the chance to care for your child before enrolling him or her in daycare. Any money your spouse might have used for daycare can then be used to cover your child's other expenses.
Your former spouse can use child support payments for tuition at private schools. However, if you and your former spouse share legal custody of your children, you do have a say in whether or not your child attends public school. With joint legal custody, you have the right to weigh in on decisions made regarding your child's education. If you don't feel that private school is appropriate, you can have your family attorney negotiate the decisions regarding private education. Should the judge agree with you, your child support payments won't go toward private schooling.
It is reasonable to expect that a portion of your child support payments will go toward room and board for your child. While you can't tell your former spouse not to use the payments for housing, you may be able to voice your concern if you feel that the housing situation is unsafe. Your divorce or family law attorney may be able to help you make a case that your child's living arrangements are unsafe, which might result in your former spouse having to move to a safer environment. You may even decide to challenge your spouse for custody if he or she does not want to move to a safer environment.
While your money should go to basic care, such as housing, child care and schooling, you do have a few options to influence the way your child support is spent in certain circumstances. Work with your family law attorney (like Stephen J Weisbrod Esq Law) to create a child support arrangement that meets everyone's needs, and don't hesitate to ask for help if you feel that your former spouse isn't handling things appropriately.