Law Offices of Lisa Stern
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What can I spend my child support money on?

If you are a divorced Michigan parent who receives child support from your children’s other parent, you may have read or heard conflicting reports on how you can spend that money. Some reports insist that you must spend your child support money only for your children’s basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. This, however, is untrue.

FindLaw explains that while of course you should spend part of your child support on your children’s basic necessities, you also are perfectly free to spend it on other things as well.

Basic necessity inclusions

Even in terms of your kids’ basic necessities, you can spend your child support money not only on their food and clothing, but also on the following:

  • Their portion of your monthly mortgage or rent payment
  • Their portion of the premiums you pay for your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies
  • Their portion of the utility payments you make
  • Their portion of your costs for home maintenance, upkeep and repairs

If you have never thought about it before, the transportation you provide your kids also represents one of their basic necessities. Consequently, you can spend your child support money on the following:

  • Their portion of your monthly car payment
  • Their portion of the premiums you pay for your auto insurance
  • Their portion of your costs for vehicle repairs
  • Their portion of your costs for gas, oil, tires and other vehicle maintenance and upkeep

Nonbasic child support expenditures

Remember, the whole purpose of child support is to help give your children the same standard of living as they had during your marriage. Therefore your child support money can go for such things as your kids’ private schools, including tuition, books, uniforms, supplies, activity fees, extracurricular activities, etc.

In addition, you can spend your child support money on movies, bowling leagues, amusement parks, summer camps, vacations and anything else your children were used to doing before your divorce. In other words, child support goes far beyond your kids’ basic necessities. You can use it to pay for virtually anything that benefits them.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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