Some Missouri fathers question where child support money goes

A common complaint among fathers in Missouri who are paying child support is that while they are handing over a large percentage of their income every month to their ex-wives, they are still not sure how their money is being spent and if it is even going to the children. Some fear that instead of new clothes for the children, their ex-wives are getting new clothes for themselves with the child support money.

Granted, while these feelings can come on quite naturally — and in some cases even be justified — to really understand how child support works one must first look at the big picture.

For example, if a father was the breadwinner in the family, it will most likely be expected that he continues to financially care for his family after divorce. This may mean just child support — and in some cases — even alimony.

In terms of the child support, how much a father will pay is largely dependent on his income. However, other factors — such as educational costs and medical costs — will also be factored in.

At times, the overall amount ordered to pay may also seem high. But, when considering the overall cost of raising a child — estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be roughly $234,900 — the amount may actually be right on target. It just feels different paying the money in lump sums to an ex-wife than spending the money throughout the month.

All of this is not to say that a father should not question the amount if it seems too high or there are legitimate reasons to believe the money is not going to the children’s needs, which include housing, food and clothing. Additionally, if the children are spending a substantial number of overnight visits at dad’s house, it may also be the time to start looking into receiving visitation credit for child support.

An attorney handling all aspects of divorce and child support would be able to provide more information on any of these concerns or topics.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Child-Support: Paying Your Fair-Share?,”Morghan Leia Richardson, Aug. 14, 2013

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