You may have many questions when you are newly divorced, especially regarding visitation and child support. If you are one of the many single parents in Illinois to receive child support, you might be worried that the courts or your ex-spouse will monitor how you spend the money or ask to see receipts. Understanding how child support spending works can give you peace of mind.
According to FindLaw, child support is meant to cover the physical needs of your children as well as their emotional well-being. Therefore, you might choose to spend the money on such essentials as the following:
- Food, medicine and clothing
- Rent, utility payments and household necessities
- School supplies, extracurricular activities and tuition
- Doctor’s visits and medical insurance co-pays
However, what about the non-essentials, and can your ex dictate how you spend child support? Your primary responsibility is to ensure your children are healthy, safe and secure, but their happiness is also important. It is often considered acceptable to spend child support on things your ex or others might judge as trivial, such as gifts, movie tickets, restaurant meals or a weekend trip with your children. The courts should not have a reason to intervene with your child support spending if you make a habit of prioritizing your children and ensuring their needs are met. Additionally, you do not need to provide your ex-spouse with receipts, regardless of what he or she claims.
Conflicts regarding your children can be complicated after a divorce, which is why this information is meant to educate you but should not replace the advice of a lawyer.