HomeChild SupportShould Child Support Money Be Accountable?
Posted in Child Support on 24th April 2014

Should Child Support Money Be Accountable?
Should the recipient of child support money provide the other parent with receipts or even a general accounting (not a “to the penny” accounting), including what was spent from their own resources?

Keep in mind that most states mandate each party have access to the other’s income information, so privacy is not an argument.
For the record, I don’t pay child support. I have but my children are all grown.
KA, ablockgurl and Wendy:
You need milk. You send a child to the corner market for a gallon of name-brand milk, a loaf of bread and gave them a $ 20 bill, would it be acceptable that they returned with a quart of generic milk and day-old bread but no change? After all, you got the basics you wanted, it just wasn’t the quantity or quality you paid for. See the difference?
dracorium:
Will the IRS accept this excuse?
Tex S:
The ones ordered to pay child support (payors) are already held accountable with punishments up to and including jail time for failing to do so.
georgebonbon:
My guess is he actually believed child support had something to do with support of children. It doesn’t.
KA, goods and services are not “child support”. Even supporting a child is not considered as “child support”. The only thing that the courts will accept is $ , so while your idea is good the law interferes.
I’m pleasantly surprised at some of the more level-headed answers from some of the feminists.
I’m thinking I will let this go to a vote instead of picking one. There are many good ones.

Best answer(s):

Answer by chasrmck
Absolutely. The operative words are “child support”. If you are contributing your money for that purpose, you should have a right to know that that is what it is used for.

Answer by sinistermooess2
yes it should be

Answer by jennifer74781
Depends on the amount of money.

I receive $ 50/week for two children. Do I feel I should give information on where that money is spent? No. It is obvious that I spend much more than $ 50/week on my children. However, I wouldn’t have a problem if legally told to do so. In fact, I would be happy to show how little it pays for.

There are some women/men who receive a huge amount of money for child support. This I feel should be documented. There are some parents who do not spend the money on their children.

Another thing to keep in mind – custodial parents can claim part of their rent/utilities, etc as supporting their children.

Answer by Anita Smith
Yes, it’s all about what is best for the child. The custodian mother or father does not always have this in mind when it comes to child support. While not all of them do it, there are a lot of mothers who squander the CS money, especially when it’s in the thousands a month (which is nearly 60% of all cases).

Custodial parents who do the right thing have nothing to worry about, so have no reason to object.

Keep in mind, most single mothers are not responsible. I respect the few who are though.

Answer by zeb6219
If the funds contributed for child support are not reflected in the physical well being of the recipient, I believe the parent receiving the funds be required to provide an accounting of how the money was spent. If you suspect that your support money is being spent for other than the welfare of your children, either talk to your lawyer about your suspicions, or the prosecuting attorney of the city or county you reside in. Abuse of child support is not unusual.

Answer by Melanie J
Yes. The money is to help provide the children with what they need and should not be spent elsewhere.

In MI, the court can order the recipient of support to provide receipts to the court proving the support money was properly spent. The receipts are to be turned in monthly and the recipient of support can be held accountable for any amount that was not spent on the shelter, feeding and general care of the child(ren). The court usually only orders receipt turn in if there is evidence that the recipient of support was mishandling support funds and at the request of the provider of support.

Too many women and men have let their children do without while spending support money on cosmetics, clothing, social activities etc.

I wouldn’t blame my ex husband if he asked for receipts. Of course, I would be too busy being happy that the deadbeat was actually paying support. At last check, he owed me $ 19,000.00 in arrears for my two children. I am supposed to recieve $ 86.00 a week in support, so I would have no problem proving I spend more than that weekly on the care and feeding of two kids.

Answer by georgebonbon
Yes in theory. No in practice unless it becomes a legal issue.

Anyway in England a father went to jail recently to protest against paying child maintenance. He actually had joint custody/residence of his children. He argued that he already provides 50% of the care so why should he be jailed?

What could he be thinking of?

Answer by KA1227
My suggestion for child support is to provide the material goods the child needs, such as clothing and school supplies, and putting the utility bills in BOTH parent’s names, so there’s no guesswork there. Most companies have online accounts, so checking the bills is easy. Consider paying for child’s exctracurricular activities directly, so YOU know where your money is going.

I understand the fear you might have that your “child support” ends up being spent on Mom’s expensive manicures or girls night out. But I find it demeaning to expect a responsible mother to save receipts to account down to the penny how she has spent that check from Dad. If she provides a home, meals and clothing, your money is being spent appropriately.

EDIT@littleviv2000: Since you asked, I find it demeaning that the threat of jail time looms over the heads of every non-custodial parent, simply because there have been enough deadbeats who skipped out on payments that it became necessary to do so.

EDIT@Phil: Yes, I agree. That’s exactly why I suggest the non-custodial parent buys the specific items the child needs, or pays the child’s bills directly, instead of giving cash to the other parent.

Answer by ablockgurl
No because the child is using water and electricity in the home that they live in, so child support should go towards that also.

Answer by wendy g
I agree with KA. If the child has adequate clothing, food, and other necessities, obviously the money is being spent as it should.
I do think, however, that if there is evidence that the above is NOT happening, that there should be some recourse.

EDIT-I do see your point. The problem is that, too often, after a divorce, the parents stop functioning as a parental unit. I understand that they are no longer a couple, but they are still parents, so they should be discussing (and trying to agree on) how the money is to be spent. However, I understand that is unlikely in a lot of cases.
I think that the major problem (I have) with this proposal is that it assumes that women won’t do right by their children.
The other part of problem is that some women do misuse the money.
So perhaps it is reasonable to have child support accounted for, but only because many divorced couples can’t seem to be reasonable and discuss the needs of the child as parents should.
It’s really a shame.

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