Do Paying Parents Have a Right to Know Where the Child Support Payment Goes in Texas?
There are many issues that a couple needs to resolve when they are going through a divorce. While a number of these issues can quickly turn a “friendly” divorce into a contentious one, it is often the issue of custody that can lead to a battle. The feelings of anger and resentment can become even more amplified if one parent is ordered to pay the other child support.
It is not uncommon in these situations where the paying parent accuses the receiving parent of using child support payments for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the child. The receiving parent often scoffs at these accusations since the child support check is likely deposited into their checking account, along with their own paychecks, and they know that the child support is going towards the care and well-being of the child.
Texas Child Support Laws
Under Texas law, both custodial and noncustodial parents are responsible for supporting their children. Both parents are required to meet the reasonable and necessary physical, emotional, mental, and educational needs of the child. Custodial parents must also provide food, shelter, and clothing for the child, but custodial parents also know there will always be other expenses that go with raising the child.
Noncustodial parents are ordered to pay custodial parents child support to cover their share of meeting those physical needs. Other expenses the court may order a noncustodial parent to pay, depending on the circumstances, incudes health care costs not covered by insurance, extracurricular activities, and daycare costs.
Do Parents Have to Account for Where the Child Support Goes?
Generally, a custodial parent is not required to provide the noncustodial parent with any kind of breakdown of where each month’s child support check is going. The court assumes that the custodial parent is spending their own money on the child in the form of food, clothing, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc. and child support funds are also going towards these expenses.
If a noncustodial parent feels that their child’s needs are not being met by the custodial parent – despite the amount of child support being sent each month – they can file a complaint with the court. However, in order for the court to even consider this type of complaint, the noncustodial parent must have evidence of neglect, not just their own allegations.
Unfortunately, many paying parents decide on their own they will stop paying child support because they think their ex is spending the money on themselves. However, this is a direct violation of the court’s order, and the parent could be held in contempt, along with other penalties imposed by the court and/or the state, including license suspension, wage garnishment, and liens.
Contact a Murphy Family Lawyer for Legal Assistance
Whether you are the parent who pays child support or the parent who is receiving, if you are having issues regarding your child support order, call Law Office of Brian Bagley at (972) 843-7158 to schedule a consultation with a dedicated Plano child support attorney and find out what your legal options may be.