It’s an unfortunate truth that child support is often misused by the people who accept or demand it. If you suspect that your ex is taking your money and spending it on things other than your child’s welfare, here are just a few ways to investigate your suspicions.
Understand the Basics
The first thing that you should know is that it’s very difficult to prove a misuse of child support payments. There are no laws saying that your ex has to spend X amount of dollars on diapers and onesies each month, so you are looking at an uphill battle to prove that they’re wasting their child support money and not just their personal money. In addition, you can’t force your ex to buy child-related things. Even if you win your case, it’s important to understand that you won’t get to dictate how your money is spent.
Research Your State Laws
If you suspect that your ex is squandering your child support payments, your best bet is getting your payments reduced so that they have less to waste. Different states have different formulas for how child support is calculated, so do some research into the factors that make up their equations. Your payment amount might be based off things like income, visitation and estimated living estimates, and it helps to throw doubt on one or more of them.
Document Any Signs of Trouble
Child abuse is a very serious claim to make in a court of law, but if your little one shows signs of neglect, you might have a case for the misappropriation of your child support payments. If they aren’t getting the food, clothing and shelter that should be covered by your payments, you’ll have a better chance of proving that their other parent is being irresponsible with your money. Along with the seriousness aspect of this claim, you have to understand the consequences of claiming negligence. This could very well mean that a new guardian would need to be appointed over the child—this could be you, another relative, or whoever else the court deems appropriate to take care of the child. This would mean having your child uprooted and facing some instability in his or her life. Of course, if negligence is really going on, then you should absolutely not hesitate to act on your child’s behalf.
Talk to a Lawyer
A good family law attorney will listen to your story and decide whether or not you do have a case. If necessary, they’ll get the ball rolling with any legal action that needs to be taken against your ex. Since child support law is so vague and undefined, it can be a big boon to your case to have legal experts on your side. Starting out, however, you should not expect such an issue to be resolved immediately. It can take months, if not years to come to a reasonable conclusions. Just remember that it’s all about what is truly in the best interest of your child.
These are just a few actions to take if you suspect that your child support payments are being misused. It’s your duty as a parent to make sure that your money is going towards your child’s future, so don’t delay if you have suspicions or concerns about their welfare.