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Family Law Blog

What Can I Pay for With Child Support?

Published: Jul 25, 2017 in Child Support

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

If you are new to receiving child support in Pennsylvania, whether you just had your son or daughter or are recently divorced, you may have a lot of questions. You may wonder where you should keep your child support – its own account or your personal checking account? You may question how you can use it – does it have to be on expenses directly related to your child? The truth is that once you receive the child support you are legally entitled to, you have a great deal of freedom. The court trusts that as a mother or father, you know how to use this money in the best way to take care of your child.

For more detailed answers to your questions about child support, contact a Pittsburgh child support lawyer from Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC at (412) 471-5100.

What Can I Pay for With Child Support?

There are no restrictions on what you can use child support for; however, child support is intended to be used for you to care for your child. Whatever you need to purchase to raise your son or daughter in a safe, healthy, and happy environment, you should feel comfortable using your child support on. This may include:

  • Rent or a mortgage payment
  • Utilities, Internet, and television services
  • Grocery bills and eating out
  • Household goods, including bedding
  • Medical bills, for you or your child
  • Childcare expenses, including a daycare facility, nanny, or babysitter
  • School expenses, including fees, supplies, and uniforms
  • College expenses, including tuition, room and board, and books
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Transportation costs, including an auto loan, insurance, gas, and maintenance
  • Extracurricular activities, including sports gear and fees, music lessons, or dance classes
  • Birthday and holiday presents
  • Entertainment like going to the movies or theme parks
  • Toys
  • Vacations

You Do Not Have to Support How You Use Your Support

You do not have to prove how you use your child support payments. Pennsylvania does not require you to provide an accounting of how you spend the money. In most circumstances, your child’s other parent cannot take you to court based on how you use your child support. The only times in which your use of the child support may come up is if the other parent makes allegations of child neglect or you request a higher amount. However, even during these situations, your use of the support will not be the main question. If serious allegations of neglect are made, then you may be put through a CPS investigation. If you request a higher amount, then a judge will grant or deny a modification based on the state child support guidelines, not how you spend the money.

You Can Agree to Show an Accounting

Parents in Pennsylvania are entitled to agree upon the amount of child support to be paid, how it will be paid, and more. You and your child’s other parent can form a contract regarding how you will spend the child support and whether or not you need to provide a regular accounting or whether he or she can request an accounting. If you are part of an agreement that limits how you can spend child support or that states you must provide an accounting at certain times, then you will need to stick to this agreement.

However, if your child’s other parent is attempting to limit how you are able to spend the support or force you to provide an accounting, contact an experienced Pittsburgh child support lawyer right away. You do not have to enter into this kind of agreement, and if you are not part of this type of contract already, then there are no limitations or accounting requirements placed on.

Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Can Help

If you have questions about any aspect of child support, whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, contact our experienced attorneys at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC right away. We understand you may have concerns about your situation or be confused about your rights and responsibilities. We are here to explain the law and ensure you receive the amount of child support you are entitled to.

Contact our offices online or call us at (412) 471-5100 for a free and confidential consultation with a knowledgeable family lawyer in Pennsylvania.