Can your ex use child support to pay the mortgage?

When you send those child support payments to your ex, you expect that they’re going to be used to care for the child. You imagine that means things like buying new clothes for school or ensuring that they always have enough to eat. You know well that raising a child is expensive, and you’re happy to help. 

Then your ex mentions using the money to pay the mortgage. You’re stunned. Are they just taking the child support money to make it easier to pay off their own mortgage debt? Is this actually allowed?

Shelter is a basic need

In fact, your ex typically can use the money to help with the mortgage. This is because child support is intended to cover basic needs, and shelter qualifies as a basic need. The money can also go toward thechild’s related shelter costs”, which could include things like:

  • The electric bill
  • The gas bill
  • The phone bill
  • The water bill
  • The rent or the mortgage

Essentially, if your child needs some product or service to live a happy, healthy life, then your ex can use child support to that end. Moreover, if your ex is buying a home, they can also list child support as income. It counts toward the total they can afford and the home they can buy.

Do you have any concerns?

While you may see that paying the mortgage is fine and really does help your child, you may still be concerned about other types of spending. If you are, be sure you take the time to carefully consider your legal options. Child support modifications can be difficult to negotiate without help.

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
Rated by Super Lawyers


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