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What are my rights regarding child support spending?

You may be relieved to start receiving child support, but you might also be confused. Can you spend the money on anything you want? Is your ex allowed to tell you how to spend the money, or can he or she demand receipts? Will the courts step in? Like other Michigan residents who receive child support, you have important questions.

Child support exists to ensure your children’s basic needs are met, as FindLaw explains. However, what you deem necessary for your children’s safety and comfort can be broadly interpreted. Like some parents, you might decide to strictly limit your child support spending to the items that keep your kids fed, clothed and sheltered – such as school lunches, dinner ingredients, winter clothing and rent or mortgage payments. You might also consider medicine, doctor co-pays, household items and hygiene products to be essential.

However, you are also entitled to use child support for purchases that some people, including your ex, might deem unnecessary, such as birthday gifts, movie tickets or a family trip. Family law courts recognize that your children’s emotional health is also important. Some expenses may be unnecessary, but they can help you build happy memories with your children.

You may also be relieved to learn that not only is your ex not permitted to dictate your child support spending, but you don’t have to provide receipts. Additionally, the court should not investigate, provided you meet your children’s needs. Since child support can be a complex topic, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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