After receiving your first child support check, you might wonder how you are allowed to spend it. You know that child support is meant to help you give your kids the things they need, as well as keep your lifestyle as close as possible to the one they were accustomed to before your divorce. You may also be experiencing some financial difficulties that make child support a lifesaver. However, at Turken & Porzenski, L.L.C., we understand that custodial parents in Missouri may worry if their exes or the courts can dictate how they spend the money.

Fortunately, as FindLaw explains, you have more freedom regarding child support spending than you may have assumed. Neither the family law court nor your ex-spouse will be informed of what you spend your child support check on. You may decide to use the money for basic necessities, such as food, clothing and household items. You can spend it on rent or utility bills. You may use it for school supplies, extracurricular activities or doctor visits, or save some for college expenses or an emergency.

Because your children’s emotional well-being is also important, you may spend child support on entertainment and gifts without having to worry about being reported to the family court. This can be a difficult topic, especially if your ex is questioning or trying to control how you spend the money he or she gives you. Your only obligations regarding child support are to ensure that your children’s needs are being met, as our page on child support explains.