Misuse of Child Support in Florida

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Is Your Ex Misspending Your Child’s Support Money?

https://onefirmforlife.com/family-law-and-divorce/As child support attorneys, we often hear in divorce cases how the paying parent believes the receiving parent is not using the child support payment for the benefit of the children. How can paying parents know where their money is going and be assured that their children are receiving the money?

Florida courts do not routinely make parents account for how they use child support payments. However, Florida courts do retain the right to require, at any time, a parent who is receiving child support payments to show how he or she is spending the money.

Speak with an experienced Child Support Attorney at our firm today.
Call 407-834-4847.

In addition, state laws are in place that criminalize the squandering and misuse of child support funds.

If you have reason to believe your ex-spouse is inappropriately spending the child support money you have paid, we urge you to consult an attorney. Various factors may contribute to your situation. An Orlando divorce lawyer at TK Law will know how to move forward with you for any child support problems that arise.

Child support is one of the most important issues to attend to in any divorce involving children.

A child support order establishes financial stability for a child in the absence of one or both parents. The court’s fundamental goal in any child support case is to provide for the best possible circumstances for the child’s upbringing.

Child support calculations are based on guidelines set forth in the Florida statutes. The formula factors in both parents’ income and expenses, the amount of physical time and overnight visitations each parent spends with the child (as set out in the parenting plan), annual health care costs, living expenses and daycare costs, plus various special needs.

What is child support to be used for?

Child support payments are intended to cover the costs of the basics a child would need if both parents were still living together in the same household: good food, appropriate dwelling, proper clothing and grooming, safe transportation, daycare, health insurance and medical care, access to proper educational facilities, extracurricular and recreational activities, and more.

As a matter of course, parents with a majority time-sharing or equal time-sharing routinely face unpredictable child-related expenses. The parent receiving child support provides for a home for him or herself together with the children.

Does Florida require any form of child support accountability?

A parent who receives child support is not generally required to provide financial statements of how the child support money is spent.

But suppose the receiving parent is blatantly misspending the child’s support funds and the child’s rights and basic needs and are not being met? Is there an action the paying parent can take?

Florida courts can step in and obligate the parent to disclose how he or she is using the support funds. FL Statute 61.13 regarding child support states:

The court initially entering a child support order has continuing jurisdiction to require the obligee to report to the court on terms prescribed by the court regarding the disposition of the child support payments.

The “obligee” being the parent who receives the child support payment.

If you are currently paying child support, and have concerns about how the support money is being spent, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney at TK Law to understand what legal options are available to you, and how we may help.

Misuse of child support payments in Florida can be a criminal offense.

Suppose the receiving parent misapplies child support dollars to the extent that the child is being neglected – basically depriving the child from receiving proper food, shelter and other necessities. Florida courts may view such misuse of child support money as a form of child abuse.

FL Statute 827.08 classifies the willful misapplication of child support money paid by another or by a governmental agency, as a first degree misdemeanor. A second or further conviction of misusing of child support funds would be considered a third degree felony.

The misuse of child support money is described by statute as

 being spent for any purpose other than for necessary and proper home, food, clothing, and the necessities of life, which expenditure results in depriving the child of the above named necessities.

Consult with an attorney about the misuse of child support money.

Sometimes children do not receive the support money they are due. This can be because a paying parent refuses to comply with paying their court-ordered support amount, while other times the receiving parent is misspending the money.

Whatever the reason your child is not benefitting from his or her rightful support money, we are here to help. Our Florida divorce lawyers are experienced in child support matters, and are dedicated to ensuring that children get the support they need.

If you are experiencing difficulties with child support, come to TK Law for a confidential consultation with a family law attorney. Please contact us or call 407-834-4847.

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