With the holiday season in full swing in California and across the nation, you may wonder if and to what extent you can spend the child support money you receive from your child’s other parent on gifts and other nonessentials. As Findlaw explains, while it is true that you should spend this money first and foremost on your child’s necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, once you have met those needs, you can spend it basically however you see fit, as long as your child benefits from those expenditures.
The whole purpose of child support is to attempt to allow your child to maintain the lifestyle (s)he enjoyed during your marriage and before you obtained your divorce. If you were like most families, your child likely received gifts – perhaps many of them – for Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever other holidays your family celebrated during the year. Consequently, your child deserves to receive the same type and quantity of gifts now, and neither the court nor anyone else will have any problem with you spending part of your child support money on such things.
In addition to buying gifts for your child with your child support money, you also need not hesitate to spend it on special holiday entertainment for him or her either. For instance, taking him or her to a holiday movie or the local ice rink or whatever additional holiday entertainment your community offers all represent perfectly legitimate things on which to spend part of your child support money.
If your child enjoys holiday family get-togethers – and what child doesn’t? – a trip to Grandma’s or the home of another relative likewise constitutes a legitimate way in which to spend some of your child support money, even if this necessitates plane fare and other travel expenses.
Bottom line, you can spend your child support money on anything that benefits your child. This is general educational information only and not intended to provide legal advice.