When two people have a child together in the state of Illinois, both are responsible for providing for that child financially, even if the couple does not live together or is not married. Typically, the state assumes that the custodial parent is fulfilling this duty, and therefore orders the non-custodial parent to make child support payments. While child support is meant to pay for the child’s housing, food, and other costs of living, sometimes, parents misappropriate funds. Here’s what you need to know about having to prove where you are spending your child support money:
Proving Where Child Support Goes Is Typically Not Required
When a parent is receiving child support payments, whether a mother or a father, they are typically not required to prove to the court where the child support goes and what the money is being used for. Instead, it is assumed by the court that the money is being used to meet the child’s basic needs, which include food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. In addition to the most basic of needs, the court also assumes that any leftover money will be used to pay for other child expenses, such as the costs of education, entertainment, child care services, transportation, and extracurricular activities.
When a Child’s Basic Needs Are Not Being Met
In the event that a child’s basic needs are not being met, either parent may request a modification of a child support amount. In the event that the child support-receiving parent wants a modification, they may petition the court stating that their current costs of living are greater than they can afford, and therefore a larger support award is necessary. Or, if a support-paying parent believes that the child support payments are excessive and no longer being used to pay for the child (even in the event that the child’s needs are being met), they may ask for a modification to reduce payments. In either case, the support-receiving parent may be asked to show documentation proving that they have used child support to support the needs and interests of the child. However, this would only be used to prove that modification of a support (or of a custody) order is reasonable and necessary.
Working with an Illinois Child Support and Child Custody Attorney
Understanding child support and the laws regarding child custody and support can be complicated. What’s more, if you are a parent who does not believe that your child’s other parent is using your child support payments to pay for child-related expenses, you may feel frustrated and at a loss of what to do. While courts typically do not require support-receiving parents to detail how they spend funds, there may be some legal recourse available to you depending upon your situation. What’s more, if you are a support-receiving parent who believes that more money is necessary, you can file a petition for modification when appropriate.
At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our experienced Illinois child support and child custody attorneys are committed to protecting your interests. To learn more about Illinois law and how we can help you, please contact us online or by phone today.