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How to make sure the child support funds are not misused by custodian parent?

Seattle, WA |

Me and my ex are trying to reach an agreement on the amount of child support. I (respondent and non-custodian parent) basically agree to pay for the child support calculated by the state's standard child support schedule worksheet. However, I want to make sure *ALL* the child support funds will only go to the kids and not be misused by the custodian parent. Is it a reasonable request to ask the court to order me and my ex to setup an account to keep all the funds contributed by both of us? The account will be managed by a trusted third party, and have the third party to process and audit the child expense claims? Thank you!

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Sure, you can make that request, whether it is granted or not depends on whether to non-custodial parent agrees. If not, you're going to have to make some arguments as to why payment through the registry is insufficient.

    The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.


  2. It's highly unlikely the court would approve this arrangement if it's opposed by the other parent. Even if it's entered by agreement, it would be very vulnerable to modification on an "unworkability" basis or voided as against public policy. How would the inevitable conflicts be resolved? For example, what are the powers of the third party manager? Can they just declare that some expense won't be paid from the fund because they don't deem it legitimate? How will food, rent and utility bills be paid in each household, which are typical uses of child support? Requiring an accounting for basic support was at one time authorized by statute, but it was eventually repealed because it caused more problems than it fixed. Special expenses can be subject to joint control by both parents, but not basic child support. Also remember that child support is a right of the child, not a parent, so agreements between the parents on that topic are not as strong as other kinds of agreements.

    By asking your question on AVVO you agree and understand there is no attorney-client relationship established, no attorney-client confidentiality and no duty to provide additional responses. Any response is limited to and depends upon the accuracy of the facts provided in the question. To the extent different facts exist, the response could easily change. Responses carry no warranty of any kind and should not be relied upon as legal advice; they are only opinion. All responses are based on Washington law.

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