If you have a child support order, you might be wondering what you should do with the money you receive. Your instinct might be that you need to spend the money directly on your children. And, in general, that would be correct. The first goal of child support, is to take care of your children's basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities. However, sometimes, both parents make enough money that they can take care of these needs without child support, but, since the difference in income is so large, or because of a big difference in timeshare, there is still a child support order. You don't have to spend that money directly on your children and shower them with lavish expensive gifts. Of course, you should make a conscious effort to use the money to make your children's lives better, but this can manifest in different ways. The secondary goal of child support is to create an environment at both homes that is similar to what the children would experience if the parties were together, so spending that child support money on upgrading your home, or buying more expensive food, can be a reasonable use of child support. As long as the funds are in some way improving the lives of your children, your use of the child support money is typically discretionary, and you don't need to keep track of the payments or show proof with the court. Long story short, as long as you are meeting your children's needs, you shouldn't worry about where you directly spend your child support.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS