There are many things that can be open to interpretation. Child support is not one of them. Where one parent spends more time with the child, or has a lower income than the other parent, child support payments are intended to allow the child to maintain a consistent standard of living, irrespective of which parent he or she is with. Some California residents will be familiar with situations where this does not appear to be how things work out in reality.
Child support can be a contentious issue during divorce proceedings. For each parent who feels that he or she has not been awarded enough, there may be one who feels that he or she is required to pay far more than appears to be fair. There are certainly instances where this may be the case, and there is a legal process to follow when seeking to rectify the imbalance. Unfortunately, some parents simply decide to stop making payments, which has led to uncollected child support payments totalling billions of dollars each year.
The reasons for refusal to pay vary from case to case. While some parents may genuinely struggle to afford the amounts ordered, others may be suspicious that the payments are being misused. It is reasonable to use child support payments for rent or mortgage payments and other costs of maintaining a home for the child, as well as supplies for schooling, extracurricular activities, and any other expense from which the child primarily benefits. Using it to fund a parent's personal grooming, body art, vacation or other aspects of a lavish lifestyle from which the child does not benefit, is not appropriate.
Such instances are infrequent, and if one has regular visits with his or her child, then they are unlikely to remain secret for long. If any California resident has concerns regarding the use to which child support payments are being put, then he or she has every right to seek the appropriate advice about how to proceed regarding such concerns. A parent who is struggling to maintain payments, or to manage on the payments being received, is entitled to request that the level of child support payments be reviewed, typically based upon evidence of a substantial change in circumstances.
Source: goodmenproject.com, "This Is What Child Support IS...And Is NOT", March 31, 2017