Keep records and receipts of all extraordinary purchases
How many times have you heard a non-custodial parent try to slither out of paying child support by claiming he bought the children a new pair of sneakers or he paid for their soccer uniforms? Such special purchases are not the same as child support, and you can’t get credit for giving gifts or paying for the “extras” that come along.
However, you can strengthen your position in a child custody case by keeping good records of the “extras” which you pay for. Whether you’re the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, the making of extraordinary purchases for the children is evidence of your continuing support and dedication to your children’s best interests. A rare gesture won’t add up to much, but a pattern of “going the extra mile” can have a favorable effect in custody court. This may include, for example, buying the children new clothing at the start of the school year, paying membership fees for team sports and clubs, paying for sport uniforms and gear, renting musical instruments, or sponsoring a school trip or a camp outing,
Maintaining records is crucial. Keep a log of all special purchases you make. Keep a register of all of your receipts too. Especially if you’re the non-custodial parent, and if you’re paying child support on time, then keeping such records will demonstrate that you treat the job of parenting as being more important than a single court order. Should there be a contested custody motion down the road, it would be helpful to state to the court: “Not only have I paid all of the child support ordered by this Court, I have also paid for six all-day shopping sprees with the children over the last two years, to buy them clothes throughout the year; I’ve paid for the soccer team and the trumpet lessons – with no contribution from their mother. My receipts, totaling $2,800, are available for the court’s review.”
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