Can my ex use my child support to go on vacation?

You've been divorced from your ex-wife for several years. While you two have had your issues in the past, you have usually been able to keep it civil.

That all changed when she reminded you that you must get July's child support to her on time. She said she needs it to take the kids on vacation.

Can she do that with the kids' child support money? In a word -- yes.

That answer might chafe some, especially if paying child support leaves you with precious little cash to spend on your own vacation. However, there are misconceptions about which expenses child support can cover or contribute to.

The truth is that child support can be used for much more than the care and feeding of the kids. Your ex is free to use her child support to pay the mortgage or rent, make car payments, pay for auto maintenance and insurance and cover entertainment expenses for the children. Vacation costs will fall into the last category. However, there could be some exceptions.

For instance, suppose you learn that your ex and her new boyfriend will be jetting out to Las Vegas for a gambling junket while the kids are stashed at their grandmother's house. If you are able to prove that your ex used your child support dollars for such purposes, you could potentially address this from a legal standpoint.

Still, it would be very difficult to prove that she diverted the money intended for the kids to fund a getaway with her new paramour.

What both the payers and receivers of child support must do is ensure that the children's needs are met at all times. If such is not the case, you may need to revisit the child support matter in family court.

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