Child support is a common area of contention amongst former spouses, and many payor parents question whether the support is actually being used for the benefit of the children. You should watch the video below on how child support is payable, by who to whom, and how much. Even in circumstances where you believe that your spouse is not using the support amount for the children, you are not allowed to resort to ‘self-help’ measures such as putting the support in an account for the children to use in the future, or buying your child necessaries (such as clothes) in lieu of giving your former spouse money. Judges view that a “controlling” or an attempt to run the other parent’s life through money. They don’t like it. Judges want each parent to be able to spend the money available to them as they see fit, because they assume that each parent prioritizes the child’s interests over their own.
If you believe that the support you are paying is not being used for the children and, as a result, your children are being deprived of food, shelter or other necessaries that child support is supposed to cover, this is a serious issue. It is a child custody issue rather than a support issue because it shows that the parent is not prioritizing the children’s best interests such that a judge might want to change the parenting arrangements. If this is the case, you should consult immediately with a family lawyer to determine what your rights are and how you can ensure that your children’s basic needs are being met while in your spouse’s care.
To determine exactly how much support you should be paying, you should refer to the Child Support Guidelines, which governs the quantum of child support payable. If you believe that you are paying too much child support, you should watch the video below that explains the steps required to change a support order and contact an experienced family law lawyer.
For higher income earners, section 4(b)(ii) of the Child Support Guidelines allows a judge to order an amount that is different from the amount set out in the Child Support Tables, where that money is not being used for the children. But, judges only look at that section in the clearest of circumstances and will not reduce support just because the parents disagree how the money should be used. Judges have allowed child support to be used to pay a child’s horse expenses over saving the money for university expenses or other future needs. There can be greater freedom to allocate child support money in shared parenting situations and where one parent is not paying his or her fair share of the children’s expenses, he or she may see the amount of child support he or she receives reduced. Child support in shared parenting situations can be complicated, so if you should really speak to a good family lawyer if you are having child support trouble in shared parenting.
To learn even more about child support, you may want to get a copy of this as a , or as a $9.99 e-book for Kindle, Kobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac. You may also want to listen to this podcast or watch this video. You can also use the search on the right to find lots more articles about marriage and divorce.
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