October 17, 2019

Should Child Support Money be Tracked?

child support“How do I know that the child support I am paying is really being used for the benefit of my kids?”  This is a question I hear from my bankruptcy clients as well as from Social Security disability clients who are facing the prospect of giving up their lump sum and part of their monthly payments.

One of my blog readers proposes a solution to this dilemma:

Child support should be taken from both parents equally put into a monitored account and a debit card should be given to the custodial parent, all money used with account would be tracked. Nowadays child support is used as a way of getting free money for travels new cars hanging out at the malls and nothing to do with the kids.

Is this solution realistic?  Does the man who wrote this have an accurate understanding about the obligations of a custodial parent?  What do you think?


Jonathan Ginsberg practices Social Security disability law in Atlanta, Georgia.  He represents clients in claims before the Social Security Administration.


  1. Well, the child if the child is Clothed, Bathed, in a home, has a room, clothing, electricity to watch TV, play games, keep them warm, has food, and water….Then, the child is taken care of, and it should not be the business of anyone to where the actual payment goes. I am a mother with 2 children and it has been 8 months that I have supported my 2 kids with NO help from the father, and when the Tax check comes, I WILL TREAT MYSELF TO SOME NEW CLOTHES AND A NIGHT OR 2 OUT…..Because of the fact that I have made sure my kids have had all they need and then some. Movies, dances, out with friends. Cute clothes….They are taken care of but only by me…And I will do what I WANT WHEN THE MONEY HE OWES COMES IN….I Go without, and I know he goes out to bars and out to eat all the time cause his new wife is a nurse, and she has no obligation to my kids and he don’t work a real job, cash jobs every now and then. SO remember the making sure the kids get electric and water and heat and a home and a vehicle to get places is part of his responsibility also……

  2. rh Seabrook says

    As a non custodial father, before my divorce, I was the primary bread winner and know exactly what it takes to raise a child. Now divorced, my children do NOT receive the care and welfare they need, let alone deserve. If nothing else, The money provided for the children should be at least monitored through a separate account, whether or not there are any consequences to how the money is spent. This would at least allow the support payor a chance to see how their money is being used. Questions could be raised against the supporting parent, and the answers to this and the patterns of spending could be used in any litigations or arguments for or against either parent in any case pertaining to the divorce. Also, being the child of divorced parents myself, I know what its like in all aspects of this issue. My half sister’s mother saved her child support and bought herself a car and a house with it after my sister turned 18. How is THAT helping my sister or helped her in her growing years?

    In addition, I beleive if there WAS more accountability on the side of the support recipient, or at least a tracking mechanism, the level of “deadbeat” dads would most likely decrease as many believe as I do and have seen – the money is “free” for the ex and very little gets “filtered” directly to the children.

  3. My daughter said “why should my dad pay you child support, because you are just going to pay bills with it anyway”. Yes, pay bills that’s what good honest hard working parents food paythe bills, even when the other deadbeat is not!

  4. Well said Cindy!

  5. I am a mother of one and i am not with his father. I think child support payments should be monitered. I wouldn’t have a problem with it because I use my child support for diapers, wipes, baby shampoo and what have you. My child support comes on the Indiana card and I know that money is my sons money and I use it for his benefit only. I think its terrible when women use it for cigarrettes, beer, and stuff like that. Maybe they should make it like a food stamp card, only certain items can be purchased with the card like childrens clothes, school supplies, medicine, baby care items, baby furniture and car seats, booster seats, and when the child is older, say teen years then the support not be monitered.

  6. A monitored account sounds like a good idea but, the problem is that the state does not care if the child gets the money or not. If the child’s entitlement to child support (cs) was the issue then how do you explain imputed income in CS calculations.

    For example, my ex-wife is unemployed and not seeking employment. She is living off alimony and child support. It can not be assumed that she can support herself and be paying CS with the small amount alimony. But instead of forcing her to show income so that the assumption that her support is being paid is appropriate they just impute income. This helps her because she does not go jail for not paying support like I would. It helps me because with her imputed income in the CS calculation I pay less. But what about our son? Not only is he not getting support from his mother he now recieves less from me. So is the money really intended for him?

    Obviously, the focus is on the parrents not the child. If mom does not pay dad gets a credit. If dad does not pay he gets to go to jail. What the child gets is less money. Therefore, the money is not for the child. So there is no need for it to be monitored. If we did the court wound then have to deal with the problem of deciding what the real intention of CS is.

    There are alot of problems with methods and enforcement of child support than just accountability.

Speak Your Mind