Does a father have the right to know where the child support money is going if the mother is not buying food and clothing 4 kids

Asked over 3 years ago - Montgomery, IL

The children are always complaining that she hasn't gone grocery shopping or bought any clothes example the mother has received over $2000.00 in a matter of 2+ months and the kids received a package of socks and 1 pair of pants, she has moved in with her boyfriend, does not pay rent there and rents her town house out where she use to reside with the kids, she hasn't bought any groceries and if she does there t.v. dinners and the kids get reduced lunch at school, they are tired of living like this, they call me everynight complaining, my son wants food so he can make his own lunch, she never once has made him a lunch for school. my oldest is 18 & in highschool, my younger son is going to be 14. Please help!! What does a father do when he really can't afford an attorney to go to court with?

Additional information

There is also mental and verbal abuse in the home but she makes sure she does not display this around the new boyfriend she only acts out when he is not home and at his work. She has been hitting them also even when a simple question of "What's for dinner" and she will either slap them. She goes out almost everynight for dinner but will not make dinner for the kids, she tells them to make a t.v. dinner or f'in starve. She is also demanding that I take them to the doctors or to any appointments they need. She never follows up on doctor or dental appointments either.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. David Matthew Gotzh

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Unless you're willing to go back into court for the purpose of modifying custody because you feel the children are being mistreated, you are on your own. The harsh reality is that for a case like this, going in without an attorney is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Contact Prairie State Legal Services or other local legal aid organization for assistance.

  2. Raiford D. Palmer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Unfortunately no. Child support is intended for the basic necessities of life such as food clothing and shelter for the children. You cannot "track" it or insist that the money is spent a certain way. Child support is a fairly rough calculation replete with trade-offs to ensure that children have at least a modicum of support from their parents. One trade off is that the amount of support is essentially a basic percentage of net income for support, some would argue lower than it should be. Another trade-off is the one you identify - that the support payor cannot demand proof that the support money is actually being used to pay for the children's needs.

    If you believe that a change of custody is required, you may need to bring a petition to make such a change. These issues are very fact specific and I cannot discuss any detailed info here since you don't provide enough information. You really need to meet with an attorney to address this.

  3. Ronald S. Pichlik

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . The short answer to your question is no. You do not have the right to demand an accounting of where the money is going. If you believe the child is not being properly cared, or provided for you can go back to court and try to get physical custody changed to you.

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