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What can I spend my child support money on?

As a Texas parent who receives child support money from your child’s other parent, you may have heard all kinds of rumors about what you can and cannot spend that money on. Unfortunately, many parents like you labor under the misconception that they must spend child support money only on their child’s basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. As FindLaw points out, however, such is not the case. In fact, you will be happy to know that you have enormous flexibility in the kinds of things you can legitimately spend this money on.

The whole point of child support is to allow your child to live as much as possible the same way (s)he did prior to your divorce. Therefore, for example, if your child always attended a private school, you can spend child support money on the tuition, books, uniforms, fees and supplies associated with that school and its extracurricular activities.

Basic necessities

Naturally you need to continue providing for your child’s basic necessities, but here again, you may not have realized the full extent of those necessities. Take housing, for instance. You can legitimately spend part of your child support money for your child’s portion of all of the following:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy premiums
  • Utilities
  • Home repairs and upkeep

Your child’s transportation costs also are part of his or her basic necessities. Consequently, feel free to use part of your child support money to pay for his or her portion of the following:

  • Car payment
  • Auto insurance policy premium
  • Auto repairs
  • Gas, oil and other routine auto maintenance expenses

Little extras

Your child is just as entitled to entertainment and other fun stuff now as (s)he was prior to your divorce. You should have no hesitancy about using child support money to provide him or her with the opportunity to go to occasional movies, spend the day at your local amusement park, join a bowling league or participate in any other reasonable fun activity. The same goes for vacations, summer camps and anything else that your child enjoyed prior to your divorce.

Bottom line, you can spend your child support money on virtually anything that benefits your child. This is educational information only; please do not interpret it as legal advice.

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