Short answer: No.

Longer answer: In any divorce proceeding where children are involved, the first hope is that the parents will work together to craft a plan that is in the best interest of the child or children, and that both parents will faithfully execute the plan agreed to as it relates to visitation, custody, and child support. Payments should be made on time, as scheduled, and then spent on things that directly benefit the child, and contribute to his or her well being.

Meanwhile, back in the real world….

Unfortunately, reality does not always work out like that. For this reason, the courts ultimately decide how much child support will be paid. This is done by way of a formula, so as to be impartial, then may be increased or decreased by the judge based on arguments for and against. This covers the amount paid, but now let’s turn to the things the money is actually spent on.

The person receiving the support money is under no obligation to document exactly what support is being used for. They don’t have to provide any accounting, and they don’t have to give receipts. Money is paid and the custodial parent for the child, makes decisions about what is in the child’s best interest without further input.

What to do if you suspect something is wrong

If you suspect that the child support money you’re paying is being misapplied (used to fund weekend trips to Vegas, or wild parties, or other such things), the first, best thing you can do is to document what you know. By itself, such documentation is obviously not enough to make a difference, but you won’t be able to do anything on your own anyway. You are going to need the assistance of your divorce attorney, and he or she will be better able to tell you exactly what you need to document and the level of proof that will be required to change anything. Be prepared for all possible outcomes.

If child support payments are being misapplied, then there will likely (but not always) be some evidence of neglect, and if that is indeed the case, then you’re venturing into waters of having one parent declared unfit, and potentially redrawing the custodial arrangement. That can certainly be done, and has been done many times in the past, but this is a fairly drastic, hostile action that could have any number of unforeseen consequences. This is definitely not a path you want to start down without first consulting with your divorce attorney and outlining all your options and contingencies.

Think and consult before you act

Divorce is always tragic and unfortunate, and often messy. Taking Action is not something that you should consider lightly. Be sure that there is a clear and present danger to the child, and that danger can be proven, and no matter what, seek advice from your lawyer.