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What can you spend child support money on?

If you are like most divorced parents, you rely on your monthly child support check to keep your household financially afloat. Nevertheless, you may worry about whether you can use this money on specific expenses.

FindLaw assures you that, as long as you spend child support money on something that benefits your children, you have nothing to worry about.

Basic needs

It goes without saying that your children have numerous basic needs, including food, clothing, transportation, etc. Consequently, if you have three children, you can legitimately use child support money to pay 75% of your following bills:

  • Groceries
  • Mortgage or rental payment
  • Utility bills
  • Phone, cable and internet access bills
  • Car payment
  • Home and car insurance premiums and maintenance bills

School needs

If your children are school age, paying any of the following with child support money is perfectly legitimate:

  • Tuition, books. supplies and equipment, such as computers, cellphones, etc.
  • Required uniforms
  • Clothing and equipment for extracurricular activities
  • Daycare fees for before and after school hours

If your children are too young to go to school, then you can use child support money to pay their daycare expenses while you work.

Entertainment needs

Yes, children need a reasonable amount of entertainment just as much as adults do. You can therefore use child support money for such things as the following:

  • Annual vacations or summer camps
  • Occasional movies
  • Occasional visits to amusement parks, water parks, etc.
  • Occasional dinners out

Given that the whole purpose of child support is to match your children’s post-divorce standard of living to the greatest extent possible with what it was prior to your divorce, any expenditure of child support money that accomplishes this goal represents a legitimate use of this money.