Any custodial parent can breathe a sigh of relief when the family law court enacts a child support order. Raising children on your own can be expensive and stressful, and child support helps to remove some of that burden. Like many single parents in Pennsylvania, you might worry how you will be judged for spending your child support. Will you be required to tell the court or your ex-spouse how you use the money?

Fortunately, explains FindLaw, you have a great deal of freedom when it comes to child support spending. You will not be expected to provide receipts or report purchases to anyone, including your ex. Child support is granted for the benefit of your children, and you can broadly interpret how to spend it in this manner. For example, you may want to use child support in the following ways:

  • Purchasing food and household items for your children and yourself
  • Paying rent, mortgage, your car loan or utilities
  • Buying your children clothing, personal items or school supplies
  • Paying for extracurricular activities, tutoring or music lessons
  • Buying items and gifts for birthdays and holidays
  • Saving for a medical or financial emergency or to use for college tuition

You also have the right to build happy memories with your children, especially if the divorce was difficult on them. Therefore, you can choose to use child support for such entertainment purposes as a night out at the movies, a meal at their favorite restaurant or a family trip.

It is not uncommon for paying spouses to question the spending habits of custodial parents while their children are still growing up. However, you should not need to fear anyone monitoring your child support spending if the courts have no reason to believe your children’s physical and emotional needs are not being taken care of.