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What is child support supposed to be used for?

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Child Custody & Support

Child support disputes can be some of the trickiest legal issues for parents in North Carolina to address. Whether the parents were ever married or not, if they are fighting about child support the dispute is usually about more than just what is best for the child – it is also about each parent’s own financial status.

So, when child support is ordered, what is it supposed to be used for? After all, child support is paid from one parent to the other, in most cases. How does the payor parent know where that money goes after it is paid? The answer, typically, is that there is no way to know other than seeing that a child’s needs are taken care of.

The child’s expenses

A child’s needs will vary, obviously, depending on the situation. However, in the vast majority of situations, child support is intended to be used to pay for things like educational needs, health care, clothing, food and shelter. So, yes, the receiving parent may put child support toward rent or a house payment, for example, if that contributes toward the child’s place to stay. Or, child support could be used to pay for groceries – if that if that includes meals for both the child and the other parent.

In the end, quite a bit of discretion is seemingly left to the parent who receives the child support payments. Once a child support order is in place, it can be fairly difficult to change. North Carolina residents who are facing child support issues in family law court should be sure to know all of their legal options before a court enters an order.