What Does Child Support Pay For?

A misconception that a lot of people have is that child support payments have to be 100% spent directly on the child.  That is simply not correct.  Kentucky courts have routinely ruled that child support goes to support the household in which the child lives.  This may mean that the support is not actually being spent directly on the child, but, instead, may be going toward making a mortgage or rent payment, a car payment, groceries, or the child's extracurricular activity fees.  Courts have routinely rejected the idea that one parent should have to provide receipts to the other parent to show where or how the child support payments were spent.

In addition to the child support payment allowed under the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines, Kentucky also requires that courts divide reasonable work or school related child care expenses to be divided in proportion to each parent's income.  Extraordinary, uninsured medical expenses are also similarly divided.

While the child support statutes do cover a number of expenses for a child, they do not cover everything.  Kentucky also has no requirement that in addition to child support an obligor pay for a car when the child turns sixteen, for extracurricular activities, school expenses, clothes, or Christmas and birthday presents.

Kentucky remains with the majority of states in failing to make any provision for support beyond a child reach 18 or graduating high school, whichever is later.  As of this writing, only approximately one third of the states have any provision for payment of support for post-secondary education.  That being said, in my experience most judges will enforce an agreement between the parties to pay for college, but the court is not authorized to require payments absent an agreement.  There has been some recent case law that upheld a trial court's child support decision that included a minor child's private high school tuition.

If you are paying child support, you will not be entitled to an accounting of where every penny is spent.  However, if it becomes obvious that in spite of your regular payments, the children are not being taken care of, it may be time to talk with us at the Alford Law Office.

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