If your former spouse is paying you child support in Georgia, you likely have heard that you must spend this money on your kids’ basic needs. While this certainly is true, it does not represent the whole truth.

FindLaw explains that child support must go for your kids’ benefit, but many things benefit your children beyond their basic needs.

Actual basic needs

Providing for your kids’ basic needs, including their food, clothing, housing and transportation, is one of your primary parenting responsibilities. For child support purposes, however, your children represent a percentage of your normal monthly expenses. For instance, if you have three children and live alone with them, they represent 75% of your household expenses and you can use your child support money to pay that percentage of your bills, including the following:

  • Monthly mortgage or rent
  • Monthly homeowner’s or renter’s insurance premiums, as well as car insurance premiums
  • Monthly utilities
  • Car maintenance including gas, oil, tires, etc.
  • Home and car repairs

Additional needs

As every parent knows, providing for your kids’ basic needs is only the tip of the iceberg. They also require clothes and shoes, school supplies and possibly uniforms, extracurricular activity fees, computers and cell phones if they are old enough for these, and a variety of other things, all of which represent valid uses of your child support money.

And do not forget the fun things your kids want such as movies, amusement parks, water parks, restaurant meals, vacations, summer camps, etc. You can likewise spend your child support money on these types of activities. Bottom line, if something benefits your kids, it represents a legitimate child support outlay.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.