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What to Do if Your Ex-Partner Is Spending Child Support Money on Themselves

Child support payments exist to ensure that your child has the resources necessary to grow and thrive. This money can be spent on food, education, clothing, housing, or even luxuries, as long as it is spent to benefit the child. But what can you do if you suspect your ex-partner is misspending that money?

Gather Evidence

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove that child support money is being misspent. But  you may not have to prove that fact to take action. Before you can do anything, you need evidence of inappropriate expenditures.

Typically, you should look for any evidence that suggests your ex-spouse is living above their means or enjoying a higher standard of living than they did while you were married. For example, if they suddenly have a lot of new expensive clothing, that could suggest that they are spending the child support payments inappropriately.

Avoid Putting Your Child in the Middle of any Disputes

While you want to collect evidence, you don’t want to assign your child to do that for you. It’s best to avoid discussing your suspicions with your child.

The slight exception to this is that you should ensure that your child is receiving appropriate care from the other parent. If embezzlement of child support money is resulting in your child being underfed or not receiving proper medical attention, that’s a conversation you should be having with your child.

Consult with a Family Law Attorney

Typically, the attorney that represented you during your divorce is the best person to help you determine whether child support payments are being spent inappropriately. They understand your case and know what the judge ordered. Your attorney can usually identify graft better than you can and may be able to help with an investigation.

Limit Your Expectations

Many people think the worst whenever it comes to an ex-partner. What may look like an egregious expense could be mostly or completely justified. For example, if your child goes on a trip, it is reasonable for your ex-spouse to spend child support money to pay for the costs of chaperoning the child.

Similarly, using some child support funds to purchase a new car may be justified because the car is being used for the benefit of the child.

Furthermore, even if your ex-spouse was abusing their discretion, your child support payments are unlikely to be reduced. More likely, a judge will order oversight of future spending and may require your ex-partner to pay back your child for inappropriate expenses. But none of that decreases your payments.

Gucciardo Family Law Will Help You Protect Your Child

Just because you divorced your spouse doesn’t mean that you divorced your child too. You want them to prosper, and that’s why you pay child support. If your ex-partner isn’t spending that money appropriately, you can and should take action.

If you have suspicions that money is being squandered, contact Gucciardo Family Law today to get the help you need.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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