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Can my ex demand proof of how I spend child support money?

If you are a parent who receives child support, then you can feel like your spending is under a microscope when your ex believes his or her money is going toward your well-being instead of your child’s well-being.

In some cases, the other parent might demand to see proof of how you are spending child support money. However, unless there are concerns that you are not providing for your child, Wisconsin courts will generally not approve or require an accounting for child support spending.

This is not to say that you don’t have to take seriously how you spend child support. The purpose of child support orders is to ensure that both parents are contributing financially to raising a child. This means that the payments you receive should go toward:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utility bills
  • Medical bills for your child
  • Transportation costs
  • Childcare
  • School fees and supplies
  • Expenses for camp, sports, music lessons and other extracurricular activities
  • Entertainment for the child, including social outings

Generally speaking, as long as you are supporting your child with the payments you receive, you should have no cause for concern.

However, if you or the other parent is worried about how you are spending child support, you can list and calculate the child-related expenses you have paid for over the past month or two and compare that to the monthly support you receive.

You will likely find that the child support payments cover the expected percentage; you might also find child support is covering a much smaller percentage of child-related expenses than either parent thought. However, if you are spending far less on your child than you receive in child support, there may be grounds for an investigation and review of support orders.

Any parent with questions or concerns regarding child support payments and how they are – or should be – used can talk to a family law attorney to discuss specific issues.

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