Any experienced family law attorney can surely tell you that child support can be one of the most hotly contested issues in family law. When it comes to determining the amount of child support that is to be paid, Colorado has set forth a formula that considers many variables of the case. Putting aside the amount of child support that is paid, many parents find themselves fighting over how the child support is used. Some parents who pay child support ask that all of the support paid go towards needs of the child, such as food and clothing. When the paying parent believes their child support is being used in ways they disagree with, such as luxury items or vacations, they may wonder whether the ill-advised spending is legitimate. On the other hand, parents who receive child support often ask lawyers “What can I purchase with the child support I receive?”
Many times, paying parents claim that the opposing party is taking advantage of child support payments, not using it for its intended purpose and instead converting it to assets that are not related to the child. As child support payments don’t come with any oversight (after they are paid, that is), there is a fear among some parents that their hard-earned money is being spent on unsavory activities such as alcohol or drugs. Consequently, they may feel they have the right to know where the money goes and how it’s being used in order to ensure it benefits their children.
For the most part, Colorado courts trust parents with physical custody to use child support payments to cover the necessary expenses for raising their children, so additional proof is not needed. The amount of money that a paying parent is expected to provide reflects the reasonable needs of the child and the financial ability of their parent to fulfill those needs. As such, monitoring how this money is spent is generally seen as an unnecessary task due to its complexity and time-consuming nature.
Despite the lack of oversight, it might be unwise to use child support for luxury items or unnecessary spending. Typically speaking, it’s best to use all available financial resources from each parent to ensure that a minor’s needs are being met. The list of items includes (but isn’t limited to) clothing and shoes, school supplies, medical expenses such as doctor visits and prescriptions, recreational activities like sports teams or dance classes, food and groceries, transportation costs like gas or bus fare, etc.
If disputes continue, Colorado family law attorneys can assist in reducing the tension by crafting agreements that reflect both parents’ concerns. Many times, the child has reoccurring expenses that can be directly paid by the paying parent so that there is less child support being exchanged. For example, if the child is going to daycare or private school, the parents can reach an agreement whereby the paying parent will directly pay the fees associated and receive the appropriate reduction in child support.
If you have questions concerning the use or payment of child support, contact Burnham Law today. Time is of the essence, as most Colorado courts will refuse to adjust child support until the appropriate paperwork is filed with the court. The award-winning family law attorneys at Burnham Law have handled thousands of child support related cases and will fight to assure the child support in your case is appropriate under the law.