Forward Thinking Family Law Since 1994

Assuring the Children receive the Child Support

I often hear the complaint that the child support goes to the other parent; not to the children.  This is often followed by examples, such as the support is deposited into the parent's checking account and used to pay rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries for the family, and other ordinary expenses, such as car payments and gas.  In many payers' minds, this is not a proper use of child support.  Some even want to give the money directly to the children.

Caring for children is expensive.  They need shelter, heat, water, lights, food, education and transportation.  While it may provide the payer with more satisfaction to see the child support money traced directly to the child, the courts have resisted requiring recipients of support to show exactly how their child support payments are applied to the children.  Michigan courts are satisfied when children have sufficient shelter, food, clothing, entertainment, education and supplies and other necessities.  The receiving parent does not have to provide an accounting to the payer of how the money was spent.

One consideration that underlies not making the parent account is that the courts believe that you selected the other parent when you had the children.  During the relationship that produced the children, you trusted that the other parent would provide good care for the children.  Now that the other parent and you are not getting along sufficiently well to permit you to continue residing together, does not change that you are both good parents who care for your children.