Child Support Recipient Does Not Have To Account For Spending

What does he/she do with the money I pay for child support? This is a question that I frequently hear. The paying parent believes that they pay too much and that the recipient is not using the money for the child.

In NY child support is determined initially and often finally by the utilization of a formula which essentially provides that the paying parent pays a set percentage of their income after deduction for Social Security taxes, spousal support, child support to any other children pursuant to a court order and a few other limited deductions. The formula is 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children and 35% for five children. So for example, if the paying parent's income after the limited deductions were $100,000 and there were two children the presumed correct child support would be $25,000 paid on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. (For high income earners or where the income of both parents is high the formula will often not be utilized on all income.)

The paying parent is not entitled to an accounting of how the recipient used the $25,000. The theory of the child support formula is that the money is utilized for many different things, including house carrying charges or rent, utilities, food, clothing, extra-curricular activities, maintaining and operating a vehicle, school supplies and many other miscellaneous items. Child care and health insurance and health expenses are paid in addition to the basic child support.

Because there is a formula unless there are unusual circumstances, more often than not the formula will determine the amount of child support to be paid.