How an ex-spouse may spend or modify child support payments

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2021 | Blog, Child Support

Single parents could face financial challenges when providing for their children after a divorce. Kids have specific needs that affect how they develop and grow. Those needs may change as they get older.

As noted by U.S. News, states issue guidelines for court-ordered support payments to cover the cost of the necessities children require. Divorced parents may use their children’s support payments to purchase food, health care and clothing. If a child attends a private or boarding school, both spouses may need to contribute toward tuition payments.

Factors that could increase financial support

When children’s needs change as they grow, the financial support required may change accordingly. Children who develop certain medical issues, for example, could require a higher amount of monthly financial assistance.

Minnesota’s family courts consider health care costs when determining support plans. If the custodial parent lives in a high-cost area, the court could also calculate a larger payment plan. In cases where parents have joint custody, the ex-spouse with greater income might have a higher payment.

The three parts of a payment arrangement

The Minnesota Judicial Branch website notes that the court considers three areas when awarding child support: basic support, child care support and medical support. Food and housing expenses fall under basic support, which the court calculates during the divorce.

Child care support includes the cost of daycare when the custodial parent works. Both parents may need to share the cost of a full-time caretaker. If the custodial parent has coverage through an employer’s insurance plan, the noncustodial parent may need to cover part of the child’s premiums and certain out-of-pocket costs.

Minnesota’s courts generally do not monitor how ex-spouses spend their child support payments. If a parent requires more money than initially awarded, however, a request for a support modification may help provide for a child’s increased needs.