Berman & Asbel, LLP

Using child support funds appropriately

The purpose of child support is to ensure that Pennsylvania children have a living situation that is as similar as possible to the one they experienced when their parents were married or together. Generally speaking, child support should be spent on things like food, shelter and clothing for children. It may also be spent on school supplies or medical bills.

However, not all parents spend their child support money wisely or on things that they should be. For instance, child support funds should not be used to buy a parent clothing or vacations that a child does not go on. Additionally, support money should never be used to buy tobacco or alcohol.

Parenting agreements can be drawn up that outline how child support funds should be spent. This can help ensure that non-custodial parents feel that their money isn't being wasted and is going to take care of their kids. Support agreements can also outline what expenses each parent is responsible for. One parent may be required to handle medical bills and carry medical insurance, and the other parent may be required to buy new clothing and school supplies.

It is very common for child support to be required when a couple splits up even if they were never married. Generally speaking, child support requirements are based on both parents' income. In the event that a noncustodial parent suffers a financial downturn, such as a job loss or a medical emergency, a family law attorney could file a petition with the court seeking a modification of the child support amount.

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