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Being responsible for full custody of your child can be a huge challenge. Even if your ex has custody 2 days per week, your obligations as a single parent are still massive.

Child support money is meant to ease the financial expense of these responsibilities. However, you may have some confusion about the most advantageous way to use it. Here are a few guidelines.

What child support money is for

It’s important to understand that child support money shouldn’t necessarily be set aside to spend on certain items. Rather, the funds are meant to help the parent make necessary expenses.

For example, you may use the funds for groceries, which will feed both you and the kids. You may also find that you need to use the funds to patch a tire in order to get yourself to and from work.

Do not let your ex or anyone else demand that you spend child support funds are certain items or that you itemize how you spend it. This is not how the funds are meant to be used.

Meeting your child’s basic needs

What’s most important is that your child’s basic needs are being met. You should have enough money from your income and child support funds to make necessary expenses such as paying for:

  • Groceries
  • Hygiene products
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Utility bills

If you are using funds to buy leisure items, while neglecting expenses that are necessary to meet your child’s basic needs, a court may make child custody changes.

Get the most from the money

If you have a hard time budgeting, try to use child custody payments to make necessary expenses first. You can use any leftover money to save for a rainy day or do a fun activity with your children.

Just keep in mind that your income and child support money should always go toward necessities before leisure. If you’re finding that you don’t have enough funds to meet you and your child’s basic needs, a court may raise the child custody amount you’re owed.