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What can I do if my ex is misusing child support funds?

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One of the most upsetting aspects of a divorce is often a loss of control over your children's lives and well-being. As the non-custodial parent, you do your part by actively engaging with them during visitation and time at your home. You pay child support to ensure they have everything they need. However, you're beginning to notice that some of your child support may end up spent on things that aren't for your children. Even if you have been trying to go through divorce amicably, the misuse of child support funds could cause tension and disagreements between you and your former spouse.

The courts don't care how child support is spent

Depending on your child support arrangements, it's likely your former spouse is receiving support in one or two lump sums each month. This means that many expenses can occur between payments. Your former spouse is likely covering all of these expenses, from new shoes to a doctor's co-pay, out of pocket. When he or she receives child support, it is like a form of reimbursement. Your ex is free to spend that money on insurance, car repairs, rent or anything else that maintains one's household. Unless your children aren't having their needs met, the courts aren't going to micromanage how child support funds are spent.

If you have reason to believe that your former spouse is not adequately caring for your child with the child support you are providing, you should speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help you document the alleged neglect and discuss your options under Maryland law.

You may be able to adjust your child support obligations

Under Maryland law, there are few factors that will result in a change of child support obligations. Those include, among others, a change in your income or a sudden increase in medical expenses due to an accident or injury involving your child. Your former spouse's spending will likely not factor into any court decisions. Even if they are now in a new relationship, the income of their new partner will rarely factor into the child support amounts. If you are hoping to have your support adjusted, requesting a hearing with the help of an experienced divorce attorney is probably your best option.

An attorney can help you make sense of support and divorce law

Maryland's laws on divorce and child support can be confusing and frustrating, particularly if you are unhappy with your current situation. Working with an experienced divorce attorney is one of the best ways to understand the law and ensure that the final divorce decree, custody agreement and support order are as fair to you as possible.

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