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What Can I Do if My Ex Spends All the Child Support Money on Themselves?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Divorce

While Illinois parents who have gotten divorced are usually relieved to be rid of each other in their day-to-day lives, the conflict and differences of opinion that existed in the marriage can be resurrected over and over again when minor children are involved. Child support is frequently a cause of disagreement between divorced or never-married parents, and one of the most common concerns we hear is that the parent paying child support believes the other parent is using the money for him or herself rather than the child. If you are in this situation, this blog may be helpful to you.

Can My Ex Spend Child Support However They Want?

Although it may frustrate the paying parent to no end, Illinois law has no specific limitations regarding how child support may be used. As long as the child’s needs are being met, the receiving parent can spend child support freely on clothes, vacations, or outings with friends on the weekend.

But when a child is being neglected or abused because of a parent’s frivolous or selfish spending habits, that is illegal. Both parents are responsible for making sure a child has the clothes, food, medical care, and school supplies that they need. If your child is regularly coming to see you during parenting time and he does not have clean clothes in good repair, is malnourished, or has not been treated for urgent medical conditions, you may rightfully be alarmed.

If you suspect your child’s other parent is truly abusing or neglecting him, it is important to begin documenting evidence so you can take action. It is important to distinguish between true neglect and abuse and parenting that is simply lazy, sloppy, or below your personal hygiene standards. For example, if your child comes to your home and has dirty teeth because your ex is not enforcing personal hygiene, that is aggravating but not illegal. But if your child regularly comes to your home with dirty teeth and says he does not have a toothbrush or toothpaste at his other home, that may be a sign that a greater problem is going on.

Allegations of abuse or neglect are grave and courts take them seriously. It is important to have evidence backing up your claims, as your child’s other parent is likely to fight any effort to change the parenting plan or to have abusive behaviors investigated. An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case in support of your child’s needs.

Contact a Chicago, IL Child Support Lawyer

At NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq., we have seen how frustrating it can be when a client’s ex spends the child support money on him or herself rather than the child. We also know how important it is that your child get the things they need to be healthy and happy. If there is any question as to whether your child is being neglected, contact our Cook County child support attorneys today at 312-442-2225. Schedule a free consultation and learn more about whether taking legal action is right for your case.