9.7Susan M. Hais

The whole event of divorce and child custody is a contentious time, but it becomes even more difficult once child support is brought into the equation. Not being able to see your children anytime you want is one thing, but having to pay the other parent to take care of your child is quite another matter. While child support is designed to take care of your child, some parents may be concerned that payment is actually going to taking care of their ex-spouse rather than the child.

When it comes to child support, it is best to remember that supporting the child is often supporting the parent as well. Courts will consider things like paying rent, utilities, or for food as being in support of the child, even though both child and parent benefit from these things. Yet, if you discover your spouse buying needless things or if they are living off that child support with no effort to find employment, you might want to know where that money goes.

In most states, tracking how child support is used is too daunting of a task for the courts. However, in Missouri, if you are suspicious that child support is not being used for your child, you can go to court and request a summary of how child support is used.

In order to file a petition, the support-paying parent must show good cause or need for the summary. It could be that the custody-holding parent got a new car on a minimum wage job or that the support-paying parent is struggling to make payments and wants a modification. After this petition, the parent that receives the child support payments will be responsible for listing all things that go into the care of the child for the courts to look over. If it is found that the non-custodial parent is overpaying, child support may be modified in their favor.

Are you going through a divorce? Do you suspect an ex-spouse of misusing child support? If you have any family law issue, we can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Firm of Hais, Hais & Goldberger can do for you.