As child support lawyers in Walnut Creek, CA, we know that when a couple has a child, they quickly learn that this tiny little person is very expensive. As parents, we will sacrifice things we need so that our child can have what they need. It goes way beyond their food and clothes. We pay for their food, clothes, shoes, and sports uniforms. We pay for the things they need to get a good education. We encourage them to join groups to develop social skills. We set up a standard of living for that child.

Kids see their needs entirely different than we do. They want computers, cell phones, an Xbox, a PlayStation, and all the games and subscriptions that go with them. They want to wear what the other kids wear, and they want money to go to the movies, concerts, bowling, skating, biking, and to the football games.

We all set limits on our children. Even if we can afford all these things, we want to teach them to work for what they want and to make choices on what event is most important. But, even on a budget, there is no way to escape. Kids cost money.


When a family goes through a divorce, each parent has to take on full responsibility for their house payment or rent, electricity, water, furnishings, food, and maintenance of their car. These expenses are equal opportunity money grabbers.

The custodial parent gets help with the needs of the child in the form of child support.  But, somewhere along the way people began to think that the child support payment they make should be enough for their food and clothes, so anything over that is a free gift to the other parent. This is not always the case.

According to our child support attorneys, in every state, there are guidelines, determining what child support is for. These guidelines explain that child support is used for basic needs. But, they are also used for entertainment, education, activities, and other things that allow the child to live the standard of living that the parents created for them. Yes, there will be some adjustments in the standard of living, but not so much that the child suffers.

The Court

The courts understand this and believe in it. In fact, the court does not require the custodial parent to prove what they spent the money on. The only exception to this is when a child’s basic needs are not being met, and the parent is getting child support.

Be Logical

Many times, the parent who is paying will become resentful. Maybe they come to pick up the child, and they see a nice meal on the table, a week before their child support payment is due. They mentally think, “You can afford to live in a nice home and have a good meal on the table, you don’t need my money!”

The fact is, the custodial parent spends the money they earn to keep the rent paid and food on the table. They pay from their income, so your child doesn’t have to eat hot dogs because the child support isn’t paid yet. They budget around the money the way it comes in. This is just good parenting.

The truth is you are both doing the best you can to give your child a good life.

For more information, speak to our child support lawyers now.