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How should child support be properly used?

You may have been ordered by a New Hampshire court to give child support to your ex. Child support is meant to help share the costs of raising a child with the other parent of your children. Support is calculated using a standard income table and relevant factors with regard to the number of children you have and income – it is not an arbitrary amount determined by a judge and it is not meant to penalize you.

But sometimes it can feel like child support is a form of punishment when you see your hard-earned money used in ways you do not think are appropriate. Here’s an overview of what usually constitutes acceptable purposes child support can be used and ways in which are not considered appropriate.

What Child Support Can Be Used for in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, child support should be used for costs associated with raising a child. Acceptable purposes to use child support include things like:

  • general household expenses, like mortgage, rent, and food, etc.;
  • school fees and supplies, like school trips, backpacks, lunch boxes, pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, school uniforms, etc.;
  • child activities, like sports, piano lessons, art classes, after-school activities, clubs, etc.;
  • medical expenses, like eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care, etc.;
  • general living expenses, like clothing and shoes, etc.; and/or
  • toys, books, musical instruments, and other basic items a child may need or want.

The above are all good examples of what can be used with child support. There are, of course, many other acceptable uses, but this provides an idea of what is acceptable.

What Child Support Should Not be Used for in New Hampshire

Child support cannot be used for anything not related to the child. For instance, a parent cannot take child support and use it for his or her own expenses. This includes personal expenses for things like:

  • clothing for the parent
  • haircuts or salon services for the parent
  • vacations without the child but for the parent
  • dining without the child but for the parent
  • alcohol, tobacco, or any other substance
  • entertainment, like the movies, musicals, or concerts without the child.

Child support should not be used on any purchase or expense that is not for the child. If it is in combination, like a vacation with a child, then it may be acceptable so long as the other parent uses his or her own funds to support his or her part of the vacation.

What Can You Do if You Think Child Support is Being Used Inappropriately?

The first thing to know here is that even if you believe the other parent is using child maintenance inappropriately, you must still pay child support. So long as there is a court order in place, you must respect that order or else risk the consequences yourself.

The other important thing to know here is that it is very difficult to prove the other parent is using child support to fund his or her own personal expenses. Many people place child support funds with their own personal funds rather than keep the two separate. As such, it is difficult to identify exactly when and what amount of child support is applied.

What’s best to do in these situations is to pay your child support and keep track of things that your child may be lacking. If he or she complains of things like limited food or holes in clothes, then keeping a journal can help you monitor and track what your child is lacking but what you think he or she should have given the amount of child support you provide.

When it seems as though it is getting out of control and your child is in want of the basics while with the other parent, then it may be time to see legal assistance. If you have questions on child support, don’t take matters into your own hands, but contact us at Tenn And Tenn, PA. We know how sensitive these matters are and are here to help.

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