Many Michigan residents feel confused and overwhelmed after they receive their child support order. You may see the money as a blessing, but you could be worried about how to spend the money. Your family and friends may have told you the courts will monitor your spending, or your ex may have demanded receipts or provided a list of acceptable expenditures. It would come as no surprise if you felt anxiety about receiving child support, in addition to relief.

Fortunately, nobody will watch your child support spending, and your ex will not be allowed to dictate how you use the money. As FindLaw explains, child support is meant for your children’s benefit. You are allowed to determine how best to spend the money for their well-being. You may be surprised to learn that it is permissible to spend child support on Christmas or birthday gifts for your children. You may decide to have a movie and dinner night with your kids and use a portion of your child support for that. Your children’s emotional well-being is as important as their physical needs – therefore, you can spend part of your child support on things others may deem unnecessary.

Like many others, you may choose to use child support for your children’s essentials, such as food, clothing, school supplies, medicine and doctor visits. You can use it on rent, utilities and household necessities, or save part of it for an emergency or for their future college funds.

Your duty is to keep your children safe and happy, and child support is meant to help with that. This information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.