Monitoring How Child Support Is Spent
Fathers will ask me from time to time how they can monitor their child support payments to make sure the money will be used for the children’s expenses and not the mother’s expenses. Some of the money would have to be allocated to common expenses like rent, utilities, food and transportation. Others would be direct expenses like clothing. It seems to me that this would be an accounting nightmare so I recommend against it.
Some fathers want me to raise the issue with the court. I tell them about the equitable doctrine of “De minimis non curat lex” (“The law does not bother with trifles”). Judges are barely keeping up with the cases they have, and simply don’t have the time or inclination to monitor monthly expenditures in a child support case.
The court will take action if a child is being neglected, typically by changing custody. But short of that, mothers do not have to report how child support is spent. For a mother’s perspective on this, see this article by Christina Rowe.