During your divorce, you and your ex followed Montana’s guidelines for determining child support, and the judge’s ruling set it in stone. Your child’s other parent has no quarrel with the amount, but does want to know exactly how you’re spending that money. Do you have to provide a breakdown?
According to FindLaw, your ex has no right to interfere in the way you spend child support. The only way you could get in trouble at all is if he or she can prove to the court that you are not meeting your child’s basic needs. These include a safe place to live, food and clothing. Because your child primarily lives with you, your expenses could go beyond rent, utilities and groceries. Child support may also cover the following:
- Cellphone purchases and plan payments
- Sports uniforms and equipment
- Snacks, beverages and treats
- Vehicle expenses such as car payments and insurance to meet transportation needs
You may need child support to pay some of the costs of child care and medical expenses, as well as educational costs such as uniforms, tuition, textbooks, field trips and tutoring.
In addition to these basics, the courts generally hold that it is in a child’s best interest to also have age-appropriate entertainment. While it is a good idea to get your former spouse’s input on what the two of you feel is appropriate for your child, you could spend child support on a computer or game console, internet access and cable. You could also use child support to take your child on outings and vacations.
This information is general in nature, and should not replace the advice of an attorney.