Are You Required to Spend Child Support on Your Child?

How should child support be spent in California? It’s a question raised in courtrooms and in social settings as people discuss how a parent should or should not spend the money they receive from the noncustodial parent.

Everyone has an opinion on how child support should be spent, but what matters is the law. You may be surprised to learn California law essentially stays out of the actual expenditure of child support.

California Law Does Not Dictate How Child Support Is Spent

All you will find in California law is that both parents have a duty to support their child – including financially. This means providing basic necessities like housing, food, clothing, education, healthcare, and other needs.

This does not mean the law requires a direct accounting of child support funds going to those items. Ultimately, the law and the courts claim no jurisdiction over these expenditures aside from ensuring they are actually accounted for while the child is under the care of each parent.

The way the courts and the law generally look at this question is to understand that child support payments are added to a “pool” of money available to a family. Some may claim the parent receiving child support is spending the money on their own needs, but they have their own income sources available, as well. As long as the child is being taken care of, the court will not intervene.

What if My Ex Isn’t Taking Care of Our Child?

If you are paying child support and believe your child is being neglected, then you absolutely should work with a California family law attorney to remedy the situation. The courts have a particular focus on the best interests of the child.

When you have proof that your child’s needs are not being met then you should gather any evidence you have to support that claim. Work directly with your attorney to find the best strategy for your case. This could include a modification of your child support order or even a reconsideration of the original child custody order.

California courts review requests to modify previous orders as long as there is a meaningful, unforeseen reason to do so. You have to be the voice for your child when a parent is failing them, and we can be a part of that. Contact KL Family Law if you believe your California child support or custody order needs to be modified.

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KL Family Law

At KL Family Law, we understand that your primary concern is the well-being of your children. We strive to offer tailored solutions for your family law needs and help you move forward through this difficult transition.

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