aita for using some of my pay and child support to buy a laptop?

aita for using some of my pay and child support to buy a laptop?


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NTA You didn’t use child support money to buy a laptop. You used your personal money to pay for things for your child, and then you use the child support money to pay yourself back.


I don't know why this is so hard to get. The kiddo can't just not be clothed fed and taken care of until the fathers money hits the bank. Seconding this point. NTA. (obviously)


And the audacity of someone who *intentionally* pays child support late, getting on the case of someone on how *they* spend the child support.


Child support is fungible. It can go anywhere the payee directs it to be as long as the child’s needs are met


Thanks, I just learned something new!




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This! NTA- It cost way more to support a child than 400 with childcare. Also it's only going to get more expensive as she grows. You make sure she is taken care of what you do with that money is no one else's business. Only way it would be is if she was lacking and you had everything. Great job mama!


Money is fungible. If you already spent the equivalent cash on kiddo's needs, nothing say you have to spend those particular dollars on these things. There is no way to distinguish one dollar in your account from any particular other. Complete NTA (and needs to get enforcement involved to get the deadbeat on schedule and paying back support)


This... just this! I get so irritated at dudes that get mad because of this. $400/month doesn’t even cover half of everything you pay for to clothe, feed, house, and send to day care. So you are NOT the AH here. Furthermore, it’s extremely commendable that you are going to school to further your education. Good job!


BuT sHe’S sPeNdInG mY cHiLd SuPpOrT oN gEtTiNg HeR nAiLs DoNe /s No, Bozo the Clown, she’s spending HER money housing, feeding and generally supporting YOUR kid and the contribution you deign to make doesn’t even come close to an equal split. Disclaimer: No, not all men are like that. Yes, some women are just as bad.


I have a friend who's been getting $75 a month per child in child support. Period. Guy doesn't pay for health care or insurance, or clothes and shoes, or gifts or allowances. He keeps NOTHING at his place for the kids. NOTHING. They have to bring it ALL from their Moms. And he STILL gets all, "You better not be spending that $75 on *yourself*." Yeah, right. He also keeps fighting over custody, when he clearly doesn't want it, just to rack up legal fees on her end. It enrages me, and it's not my ex or my kids. /grrrrr


That would enrage me too. $75 doesn’t even cover anything major. Not food for the month, diapers, child care or even insurance. Mines 12 and it only gets more expensive.


Yeah. Like actually furthering your study is eventually going to benefit the kid too, it's just more long-term.


NTA but how did he find out about this? Put him or whoever told him on an information diet. It's quite hypocritical of him to expect you to spend every penny of your own money AND every penny of child support on your daughter while he pays $400 a month in child support and does as he pleases with the rest. You're also right that it's none of his business what you spend it on, provided that your child's needs are being met. But you are not going to make an unreasonable person looking for a fight see sense, so it's best not to provide him with information he can use as ammunition.


We have a mutual friend who I asked where I could purchase a good cheap computer from.


Understood. Well, now you know to be careful about what you tell this person.


I say never share anything personal with this "friend" again. They have no right telling others about you and your life. God people really do not understand boundaries.


That’s his friend, not yours. Put that person in information Siberia.


You don’t have a mutual friend. He has a friend who you thought was your friend.


This "friend" has now shown which "side" of the split that they've chosen. You've now got an ex friend, now acquaintance, who happens to be a friend of your ex.


Should be an ex friend now


Now you know not to tell that mutual friend anything.


"Friend" Doesn't sound like one. You don't need to keep receipts of what you spend child support on. Now if he felt she was being neglected and did t have e things she needed that would be a different story but none of this is his business.


Nta. But you need to stop oversharing your finances with this person.


did OP overshare? asking a friend for recommendations on where to get a good computer just generally sounds like a normal thing to do? but this "friend" in particular should've stayed in their own lane


I don't see what telling someone if part of the money came from the child support payments helped the "friend" know where to get a good computer though.


The question is did OP do that or was it just a guess from the timing?


time to cut this person out of your life. They are a spy. They are not your friend.


Why did your answer to that include info about how you paid? Once the child support hits your bank account, its your business.


INFO: But how/why does your needing to use child support to pay for it come up?


Let’s break it down. Say you make 1,000$ a month, regardless of what you actually make we’ll just use a nice round number. You spend 600$ on rent for you and your daughter, that leaves you with your 400$ to pay utilities and buy food. Rent is due on the 1st. Your ex doesn’t pay until the 15th though, even though he’s supposed to on the 1st. That means it’s coming out of your money! Well, half that rent is going to provide your CHILD shelter, right? So 300$ of that is for the child alone. Now, sure, she’s half your responsibility financially and half his! So. 150$ for ‘her portion’ of the rent. (Granted as the custodial parent you’re also providing a lot of unpaid labor for child care too, but... we’re talking exclusively about concrete financial charges here.) US estimate on child food costs is around 40$/week for a thrifty spender, depending on how old the child is. 50x2=100$. Well, that’s half the month’s food, right there, which should be his cut. You’re now at 250$ and we’re not even including things like diapers and new clothes, laundry etc. Utilities! Average cost for my state is 100$ for electric, 100$ for natural gas, 60$ for internet and 40$ for water. That’s 300$, and that’s not including gasoline and internet etc. There’s another 75$ your ex owes for daily expenses, because half the cost is yours (you and your daughter, were you roommates, would split it 50/50... and since she’s your child you pay half her share, he pays half her share, right), overall, then half of that is his! We’re at 325$, now, and that’s not including... let’s see... daycare. Wow, daycare is 12,000$ a YEAR. Glad I don’t have kids! His share of that should be 6,000$ a year... or 500$ a month. So... 825$ a month, just on the basics. That’s not counting special food, diapers, new clothes, costs for laundry, gas to drive her to and from school, school supplies, shoes, health insurance, etc. He’s half the reason this child exists and he wants to quibble about 100$ when he’s paying less than half what it costs to raise a child each month? Drag him through the mud, in court, if he keeps it up. Seek more child support. Break down the bills, how much he ACTUALLY owes, and show him what an asshole ACTUALLY looks like, because right now, you are NTA, but he DEFINITELY is. Good luck with your schooling and making a better life for your kid. 💖


While I totally agree that the OP should be able to buy the laptop - it's being used ostensibly to get a better job so the kid can have a better life, I think splitting costs for things for household expenses like utilities 50/50 between the kid and the adult isn't a good way to do it. It really should be on the basis of extra cost. Like how much extra does the electric bill go up by having a kid? How much extra is the rent due to needing an extra room? For instance if a 1 bedroom at a complex is 450, and a 2 bedroom is 600, then the kids share is only 150, not 300.


If you read my comment, you’ll note that I split things 75/25. As in, the father pays 25 percent and she pays 75. If we were talking 50/50 for everything he’d owe a lot more than 875$ a month. I’m very firmly of the belief that both parents are responsible for the costs of the child. Splitting things 50/50 isn’t the best option, but 75/25 is going to get you close to what it actually costs anyway. Example: my prior apartment was about 400$ a month for a one bedroom, and 575$ for a two bedroom. That’s about 30% cheaper for a one bedroom. The US government thinks my estimate above was conservative. Quote, “The USDA figure for a middle-income couple raising a child to adulthood equals out to nearly $13,000 a year, or $1,081 per month.” Her ex is paying less than half of that each month. She’s having to foot most of that on her own for THEIR kid. They had that baby together, and now he can’t even be bothered to pay child support on time.


Yes, but your split is based on 2 50/50 splits. Take rent, you saying the kids share is 50% and then each parent is responsible for 50% of the kids share. So that's not paying her paying 75%, it's her paying her share plus the kid share, and I'm saying the method of computing the kids share artificially inflates the kids share. Now let's take your apartment prices. My way of thinking is the parents are responsible to share 50% of the increase in costs due to the kid, namely $175, so each would have to pay $87.50 towards the kids share. So mom would end up paying 487.50. Under your 50% of 50% plan mom would only pay $431.25 total, so the father would wind up paying the vast majority of the extra expense for the bigger space. Next, you quote the USDA that the cost for a kid of a middle-income couple is about $1100. I would state that his child support is only $400, it's likely that they weren't a middle income couple to start out with. *Edit: corrected that it's the USDA's figure, not the posters.*


I don’t state that. The USDA does. You’re certainly welcome to your opinions but kindly stop trying to change mine.


Yeah, but that doesn't change the base point of my argument which is that figure is an average, and the father in question is likely at the lower level.


I’m not interested in your argument. Have a nice day.


Yeah, I don’t know about your state but here you are allowed to take them back to court every two years to up it but if they owe back child support then you can take him back to court earlier because he’s not paying the arrears. Here, it would then be taken directly out of the pay check and he can’t pay it late. If he moves jobs and he pays taxes out of his check (meaning it’s not in cash and under the table) then it would automatically switch over (it might take a month or two but it would end up switching over eventually). My mom used to have employees who would work for two months then quit before child support would be taken out. Some people are awful.


NTA You wouldn't have been 100 bucks short if you didn't spend way more than that on your daughter in the first place, so essentially that's what you used the money for. And you're right, it's not his business.


It’s easier to just say spend 400 of your overall monthly income (child support included) on the kid and call it good. the specific dollar doesn’t have to come from dads wallet.


NTA absolutely fucking not. It isn't like you've blown the whole lot on blackjack, you've used a small amount for something that the household needs (what if you need to pay bills online? Find out about a local election day? Purchase supplies for your child that aren't available elsewhere?). Secondly, this is overall in your daughter's best interest because you will be better placed to get a job and take care of her but also more fulfilled, which will make you a better parent. Take your useless ex to court for late payment.


Relax, you are NTA. Good luck with studying & don't worry!! :-)


Thank you!


How did your ex even find out?


I asked a mutual friend about where to find a good cheap computer. I'm terrible with looking as I tend to travel to baby needs haha so this friend looked it up for me.


Ahh ok. In the future I’d just keep the details of how you’re paying for things private. It’s no one’s business and you’re clearly fulfilling your daughter’s needs.


I did have the full amount saved but my daughter needed something so I used that money for her.


Yeah absolutely. I’m just saying keep that info to yourself. The mutual friend didn’t need to know the details of how you were purchasing the laptop, just that you could afford it with the money you had. Going into detail just causes unnecessary grief for you.


Very true.


So therefore you did not use any child support money on the lap top. You used the money you got early in the month (paycheque) on your daughter and the money you got later (ex) on the laptop. Your daughter is not going wanting, she is well taken care of and I bet you pay a lot more than he does on her care. Enjoy your laptop, you earned it.


Yeah sharing how you paid for it was a mistake, but it also let you know that “friend” you have isn’t a friend. You need to expect that anything you share with them will be shared with your ex.


NTA. If you were to read all of my history, you would learn that I survived one of the worst divorces and custody battles imaginable. My ex alienated me from my kids for over a year and a half. I had to pay a LOT to get shared custody. Now I pay $500/wk in child support. I know my ex has some spending habits that get out of hand and it can irritate me to know. All that aside though, she has a job and my kids are dressed, fed, and safe. Even if the actual dollars I send aren't used directly for my kids, my contributions are offsetting the cost of life over there, so my kids can be comfortable. Honestly as long as your kid is safe and healthy, your ex should mind their own business. Edit: I want to add that you should really consider getting the child support through court and your state's DOR. It will probably piss your ex off initially, but in the long run it is easier for everyone if the money gets taken out without having to rely on him actually sending it to you.


NTA, your daughter was already taken care of, it’s not like the money itself is any different once it’s in your account. You didn’t spend your daughter’s money on yourself, you advanced his part from your own because he paid too late and took it back afterwards.


NTA. You’re investing into yourself to provide a better life for your kid.


Going to get down voted, child support is to pay you back for what it cost to raise a child. My ex took me to court and wanted receipts for everything I spent HIS money on. The judge told him it was my money, and I could spend it all on gum or whatever and it was none of his business.


NTA. If you are keeping your child in food, clothing, and shelter, and daycare, you are spending a lot more than $400/month on it. There is no need to justify exactly how you spent which money.


You went and bought something that wasn’t over-the-top expensive and had enough left of the money to take care of your child's needs. #NTA


Child support is to reimburse the custodial parent the money of their own that they've spent on the child. It's not *his* money, and he doesn't get to dictate what you do with it.


NTA. Your ex using the faulty logic of the selfish near dead beat dad. The ex is an AH but it it makes your feel more confident, you could point out that the $400 doesn’t cover more than x percent of the daycare, rent of child’s bedroom, food, clothing, medical care, etc. going toward maintaining the child. But ya know what? Don’t bother. AHs like him believe what they want to believe.


You already pay for everything. His portion is Reimbursement for what you have already paid out of pocket. NTA.


NTA. But stop giving people detailed descriptions of your finances. “How can you afford that? I saved my money”


NTA - My ex doesnt pay regularly and 400/mth he is currently ordered to pay doesnt cover anything for 2 teenage boys who eat like tapeworms. I spend almost double that a month alone in food. Ie i spend ~800/mth in food when i have them 26/30 days, but in july when my ex has them most of the month ill spend MAYBE 100. He currently owes me almost 10k in his half of medical and arrears. He should be going to jail as he broke his probation but thats a long story. I pay for everything the kids need, driving lessons, insurance, food, clothes, music lessons (required in 6th at public school and both kids have continued) school expenses and field trips, etc etc. ive spent 15k or more on braces. New glasses every year for both. The list goes on and on. The child support i do get i consider “bonus” money and i sock it away for a rainy day. My goal was to be comfortable regardless of my ex playing his paltry portion and how i spend money on the kids is NOT his concern, because lord help him he doesnt want to get into an accounting game with me, let me tell you. Lol. My ex hasnt bothered to even look for work in 3.5yrs, has been living free with his parents for 13.5yrs and driving his moms old car for a decade. He had to turn over bank statements as part of court and he spent 0 on housing or utilities, 0 on food, 0 on hygiene and clothing (for himself mind you) and 6k on video games in a YEAR. I have a 3bdrm house (that he picked when we married and i got stuck with. Never wanted) 2 cars (my oldest will be 18 in january) and compared to my childhood spoil the kids rotten, but by most standards probably not ;) new shoes i consider a luxury. Lol. My ex FUMES that he has to pay paltry child support when i have “plenty of money” Well he has a college degree, 0 living expenses, and is a 44yr old man. I have a high school diploma, no family, and a strong work ethic. Me making decent income is a result of me busting my ass to make sure my kids were taken care of. Doesnt change the fact he should be contributing too. Fwiw my ex will have paid ~80k by the time child support had ended. I have more than 3x that in savings at the moment. I can only imagine how pissed he would be if he knew that. But ive not paid for a computer in 20yrs. Ive NEVER had a cellphone bill. My internet and prime account have been free about half of the last 15yrs. Ive had about 4 haircuts in 15yrs. I dont wear makeup and ive never had a purse. I dont spend 6k a year on video games…. (Eta - ive never had cellphone bill, paid for a computer, free internet and prime as a function of being in IT for 23yrs) I save. I still live like i make 45-50k a year and get 0 child support. Id demand we hash over the last 13.5yrs of bills associated with the kids if he wanted to start bitching about what his support was used on. He wasnt questioning when i was paying 1400/mth in daycare.


NTA. You used your pay from the last two months to support your daughter completely. Your ex then paid the two months child support he owed. If he’d paid his child support on time, you would have been able to save money from each paycheck to buy the laptop, rather than using the child support money. You did nothing wrong. If anything, your ex is in the wrong for expecting you to scrape by for over a month without any financial support from him. Are you located in the US? If so, do you have a child support mandate from the courts? If you don’t, you should look into it. His child support would be taken out of his check automatically and sent directly to you. You’d never have to worry about this type of situation again (unless he quits/loses his job). Also, I want to say, good for you pursuing higher education!! You’re setting an excellent example for your child, and you’re doing something that will benefit her when you eventually graduate. Don’t let anyone hold you back from pursuing your dreams!


I live in Australia. So when our tax comes in, it should be taken out of his return. If not then he will keep building up what he owes.


Does Australia have any punishments for non payment of child support? In the US, not paying child support can get your driver’s license suspended and/or time in jail. Even if he can’t be punished, you shouldn’t let him affect you at all. You’re doing everything you can for you and your child, and he can go to he** if he tries to make you feel bad about that. And you’re allowed to buy things for yourself! I guarantee he’s buying everything he wants for himself without a thought for what your child might want or need. You, at least, make sure your daughter is taken care of before you even think of yourself.


NTA. I was once in a courtroom where I heard a judge tell the man who was fussing about his ex wife using child support money for other necessities that that was a control thing, and that he needed to let it go, because it was not his responsibility to micromanage.


NTA As noted elsewhere, money is fungible. If you get $400 for child support and spend at least that much on keeping the child fed and housed, you get to make your own decisions about the rest of your income. And most of what you spend on the overall household benefits your child at least indirectly. You may not count cleaning supplies against child support, but your kid definitely benefits from having them! Beyond that, though, investing that little bit in a cheap laptop means you have a tool for improving your life, which should improve your kid’s life. Also, a laptop in the house means you can offer supervised access to technology to your child who lives an a world where tech literacy = opportunity. Rock on!


NTA - you are totally correct, and his behaviour is way out of line. Investing in your future so you can provide better is a reasonable way to spend the child support all on it's own.


NTA I say this because your child had everything she needed before you got yourself the laptop. If she had not got everything she needed I would judge differently


NTA. And *even if* it was a direct CS money-for-a-laptop, that laptop is your key to your degree, which will in turn earn your more money, which will better support your child. This need for a laptop is not just a parent ‘want’…this is investing in your future, which by extension, is an investment in hers. Imagine giving $400 a month and thinking that covers half of what it takes to raise a child, and him having a right to balk at what it pays for. The balls on him.


NTA. And whose to say that your child might not need it later?


NTA, you made sure that even after buying the laptop you would still have enough money so that your child would still get taken care of, and it's not like you bought a laptop for entertainment purposes you bought it to invest in your career


NTA You spent your own money on your daughter because the child support was late. If it was on time, you wouldn't have spent your money and would be able to buy the laptop with your paycheck. I dont see any difference, he's nitpicking.


NTA. He's just mad that he has to pay child support. If he had her he would need more than 400 a month to care for her. As long your daughter has food and everything she needs you can spend however you want.


NTA. If your daughter’s needs are met, it’s absolutely none of his business how you spend the rest of the money. You owe him zero explanations. Tell him next month you’re blowing the whole 400 on candy and lingerie. He’s your ex and letting him think you’re interested in what he thinks about your life is just ridiculous. You need to set a boundary, like yesterday.


NTA How did the father find out about your purchase? Plug that leak, whether it’s yourself or a mutual friend. It’s none of his damned business. OAN, I think you should be getting more money from him. Itemize your expenses for the baby and split 50/50, it’s probably closer to 900-1200AUD/month.


NTA Money is fungible. You pay a chunk of money on your daughter and then get partially reimbursed through child support. As long as your daughters needs are met, whatever's left is yours to spend however you want.


NTA - You said a mutual friend told him…if so you need to start cutting cords. This guy is shite as a parent but still seems to have a lot of control on you. He should be paying child support and that’s all. Don’t discuss your life with him or those mutual friends. They sound like his friends who kept up with you.


NTA — Your ex doesn’t get to decide how you spend your child support. If he’s so concerned where his money is going he can get 50/50 custody and it will no longer be a problem… but I don’t think he has any interest in actually providing for 1/2 of what your daughter needs. If he’d give you your support in 2 payments like he’s supposed to, you wouldn’t have this problem either!


Nta. Money is fungible


NTA Child support is money to go towards a child's needs - so that covers the obvious stuff like food, clothing and childcare, but also things like the extra rent you will need to pay for a home with an extra bedroom for your child, the extra utilities they use, the fuel driving them around and countless other costs. I am willing to bet that you didn't include all of these as 'child related costs' when you did your budget... In this case it appears like you spent $100 of your own money for the laptop, which you had earlier given your kids father as a temporary loan... You do admittedly need to be careful here, as there can be a fine line between using your own money for yourself, and some creative accounting to justify you keeping child support money for yourself.


Hey Friend - First, definitely NTA. Your ex is using this information to control you. He's paying child support late to control you. He's manipulating the truth to his will. Did he have a history of doing this while you were together? I'm sorry you have to deal with him for your daughter's sake - seems like it would have been easier to have a clean split. You have a right to spend your money on yourself in the same way he has a right to spend his money on himself. If I were you, I'd be back in court with records of how late he pays his child support to get his wages garnished, but that's just my petty ass. Go get your education, ignore this prick, and live your best life for yourself and your daughter. Best of luck!


NTA Let me be very clear here. He gets no say in how you spend that money as long as it is used to secure a home and better future for your child, which a laptop is a tool for your education. He needs to stop. He's opinion does not matter.


NTA. You did the child support part with your own money; he owed you, and when he paid you back you used *your* money to buy the laptop. Also....child support is partly to make up for lost earning capacity/increased cost of employment due to childcare needs that fall on the main custody parent. It's not just "money to pay for the kid's food".


NTA- When child support is late, the payee has often already spent all of their money paying for things the child support is supposed to be for. Therefore, I feel that it is communal funds. If you were going to the nail salon or something, that's different, but this was for a vital piece of equipment for an education to improve yours and your child's life. Therefore, NTA.


NTA, look, here’s the thing. Even if you did spend child support money for the laptop (which you didn’t really, since you use most of your money for the child) child support money is meant for the health and betterment of the child. You know what’s healthy and good for a child? A mom who is able to make more money in order to support her even better. The fact that you only used $100 for the laptop and were willing to get a super basic one solidifies that you got this laptop for schooling needs and not for fun (though even if you got a slightly better laptop, who cares, they are incredibly useful nowadays). All of your daughters needs are met, she has a roof, food, clothes, and the ability to spend time with her mom and enjoy her days. So there is nothing wrong with “inventing” the child support money in order to make things even better in the future. Do not feel bad at all and don’t let your ex know anything about your finances in the future. Talk child and that’s it.


NTA. Your ex is a manipulative dick.


He gets no say in how you spend your money, which includes child support once it hits your bank account. Your daughter is cared for, clothed and fed, and he can eat a bag of dicks if he doesn’t like it. NTA.


NTA My parents had split custody of me as a kid, and I would spend every other weekend at my Dad's house. A couple of times growing up I would hear my stepmother joking/complaining about how my mom just spent all the child support money on herself. When I was younger (like 8 or 9) I remember being angry at my mother. When I got older (Like 13 or 14) I remember getting really upset at my stepmother and my dad for being so callous. My mother worked so much harder than either of them, and had to stretch things so much further to make ends meet. It's not the only reason, but I haven't spoken to my Dad in 15 years. I probably won't speak to him for the rest of his life. (Just so it's clear, you didn't spend the 100 dollars from child support, you have been giving your ex an upfront zero interest loan on his child support each month. He's a deadbeat.)


NTA None of his damn business, and nothing for you to feel guilty about. Look at your budget monthly (or quarterly). The total pot of cash is the same. As long as you aren't neglecting your child's needs to buy luxuries, you are managing just fine.


NTA, why does he even know? If he paid on time you would have been able to use his money for necessities for your child and then saved your money for laptop. He doesn’t have a right to know your finances, all he has to know is that your child has everything she needs


NTA. If he actually thinks that his £400 a month pays for 50% of your daughter's expenses he is fricking delusional. You are right, once it hits your bank account, as long as his daughter is well looked after (housed, heated, fed, clothed etc) then it is none of his business.


NtA I really need child support to be changed to child repayment, because it’s never enough to truly support a child.


Nta. You already spent his child support before it got to you because he paid late.


^^^^AUTOMOD ***The following is a copy of the above post. This comment is a record of the above post as it was originally written, in case the post is deleted or edited. Read [this](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/wiki/faq#wiki_post_deletion) before [contacting the mod team](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2FAmItheAsshole)*** The title sounds bad but hear me out. I get child support once a month (my ex purposely pays late) so it's two pays worth of child support and I get my pays twice a month. I use my pay to pay rent, bills, daycare for my daughter and a food shop which mainly consists of her needs cause I always forget myself. The issue: I recently started to study Criminal Psychology online and I had some money saved for a laptop, I only needed an extra $100. I used some of the child support I get. Mind you I had already gotten her needs by the time it came in. Everything was paid. (Just for clarification I get about $400 on child support). Now I needed a laptop, I never actually owned one and I got the cheapest one as I don't need a fancy one I just need it to write and submit my essays. Her father found out and went off at me saying it's for our daughter, not for a laptop. After explaining that once it's in my account, it's none of his business and i had already gotten everything she needed and more. He doesn't provide past child support, he doesn't doesn't know her clothes size and he doesn't remember her birthday (next month). So I always make sure she has what she needs before thinking about myself. I also spent 3 days making sure I had everything I needed for her and everything was paid for. Hes cause massive anxiety attacks. So aita? *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/AmItheAsshole) if you have any questions or concerns.*




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NTA. You spent well more than $400 on her needs, doesn't really matter how you parse out the money between your own paycheck and the CS, it's all in one pot at the end and the CS barely makes a dent in rent/food/daycare/etc. But how the hell did he find out how you spent your money?? I'm concerned about this part.


NTA. You had paid also father's part of child support by the time the actual money came in. So it is ok.


NTA, by buying a laptop, you can further your education, leading to a better paying job, more money and a better standard of living for you and your daughter. definitely not the asshole.


NTA A laptop is a need for your line of work anyways. You might want to start hanging up on him when he starts attacking you.


Nta He is a joke. $400 doesn't even cover everything for a kid and if you wanted to clap back, do the math for half of all expenses and tell him to pay that.


NTA You essentially provided a loan for your child’s needs until he paid you back. In all honesty, if he’s going to be petty, he might start escalating. It’s time to go back to your solicitor and the payments on time.


NTA! Child support is to offset what you pay for your child. If you used your own money to pay for everything than this goes back to you, or savings, or whatever you want. There is nothing saying what you can and cannot use it for. He can't tell you what to do with it. If people paying child support had to be told what it's being used for could you imagine what our system would be like now? Ignore him.




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NTA. I guarantee that between rent and utilities and food for your daughter, along with all the rest of the shit for her, you spend more than his child support every month on things your daughter needs and wants. You payed for the child's stuff, and he payed back his share of that money that you paid upfront back to you. That money is now yours to do what you want. Say my friend and I split groceries as roommates-- the groceries cost $400 for the two of us and their paycheque is a little late. If I pay the $400 upfront, when they give me that $200, they can't say it's two hundred that I have to spend on groceries because it's grocery money. I already bought the groceries that that money was for!


NTA the best thing I ever did for my mental health was block my ex-husband from calling or texting me. No more daily panic inducing angry complaints. Emails only. Then I forward them to my lawyer for future reference. Try email communication only with ex, it’s amazingly freeing and you will have much less anxiety and more time to study and enjoy your day.


NTA. Please be less hard on yourself. You aren’t obligated to live with bare minimums just because he’s paying support. You already supplemented his late payment.


NTA. That laptop represents an investment in yours and your daughter's future. Don't let him make you feel bad about that! All of us here are cheering you on and wishing you success, with your studies and future career opportunities! You can do it!


NTA think of this as an investment in yours and your daughter's future. Absolutely a suitable use of children support.


NTA - if he paid on time you would have been able to use your own money.


NTA. You used your money to pay for his share of expenses for your child, he reimbursed you (albeit late, I wish you could charge interest on CS).


NTA. He's paying late, so you cover all your daughter's expenses in the meantime. You are essentially giving him a loan and the back child support is repayment of that loan.


him thinking $400 can buy a laptop lol how big he thinks his money is? does he wanna buy the moon with that $100 too? sickening asshole.


NTA Does he not understand that you getting a degree woll greatly benefit your daughter down the road? It was very sensible and a small amount.


NTA - Look at it another way. Firstly, he reimbursed you for costs because you had already provided your daughter with her necessities. Just because he pays you late so it's probably the only thing left in your account towards the end doesn't mean it stays the money he gave you. You already spent his share of money on your daughter. Secondly, you studying and getting a better job in the future will help you to better provide for your child. My Dad gave my Mum money when she bought her own house because he saw it as housing for me and it's something that will eventually go to his children anyway. If he has an issue with it then tally up all her costs for a month and show him that. It would be good for him to realise that 400 doesn't actually go far in raising a child and it's not like your daughter lives on air.






NTA Look at it as you used what would have been the $100 for the laptop to purchase his share of items for the child in advance - essentially taking a loan out on your own money. Now that he finally paid, you just took your $100 back.


NTA. You didn't deprive your child to buy the laptop, because you already spent YOUR money on those things. You didn't buy the laptop to do something shallow or frivolous. You bought it as a necessary tool and investment in your future. An education will help you get a better job, and be a better provider to your daughter. Best of luck!


NtA. As long as the child is taken care or and her needs met you don't have to explain or justify you purchases to him. Just tell him you saves up for it and it's not his concern what you spend your monthly budget on. He doesnt get a say in what you buy, and a laptop is essential for school. Tell him to take a long walk off a short pier.


Laptop can also be used for online banking Nta Sound like a trip back in court is in your future


NTA. Screw baby daddy. Go file with the court house that he hasn’t paid back support & is always late. I get $833 a month for my son from his fathers ssi. His father is still with us, we pay the bills, buy this kid basically everything he wants, I take him out to eat when he wants. We also get regular paychecks, but I swear if baby daddy ever said something about me getting a laptop for schooling after I went and paid for everything else first, he’d get a swift kick to the- well, rated R area




NTA - you made sure the basic needs (housing, food, etc.) was taken care of first. You’re needing a laptop for school which, in the long run, will improve your child’s life.


NTA. You’re right - once it’s in your account, it’s none of his business. And using $100 so that you can further your education could definitely benefit your daughter if that leads to better jobs or a career.


Your wallet doesn't know where the dollar came from - as long as you are supporting your child -NTA


Hi guys, I just wanted to update and say I had submitted my first 4 assignments..I passed with flying colours. Thank you all so much


If you weren't spending your own money on your child, and were spending child support on yourself, you'd be an asshole. But you're not doing that, you're still spending more than the child support on taking care of your kid every month. So NTA.


NTA. Child support is for everything the household needs for the child's well being. Buying a laptop which will help you in school to better your career is directly going to help your child. Therefore it is a valid thing to spend child support money on. I repeat. Child support is to support the household the child is living in. You didn't use the money for a manicure or hair extensions. You used it for your future, which directly affects your child's future. Feel no guilt for this


NTA. This was an investment in your future, and your ability to support your daughter. Sounds like he's a special kind of stupid....


NTA. You need the computer to study. You study to get a better future. If you get a higher paying job, that means a better future for your child too. Which means that you used the money wisely. I mean, you didn't blow it on male strippers did you?


NTA >once it's in my account, it's none of his business You're somewhat wrong here as it makes sense he wants to make sure it's being used for his daughter but what he doesn't realize is that you buying a laptop for classes to improve your life will also improve your daughter's life


If the child is fed, clothed, and sheltered, it's costing more than $400/month.


She already used money from her own paychecks to support her child. So she can use 100$ from the child support once.


And as I said. I have no problem with that as it will eventually improve her kid's life as well as hers


There is no way to say which dollars go where though. If she has to front the cost of caring for the child while he's late paying her, his child support is actually just paying back the zero interest loan he forced her to give him.


NTA, for obvious reasons, but please be careful, in the courts eye's good intentions are never a justification, but honestly this doesn't sound like a regular thing with you, but if the Ex is petty, be careful


The court can't do anything if she can prove she does spend at least that much on the child though. Money is fungible-- if she gets 400 in child support and spent 800 or more on child-related expenses this month beforehand, they won't see any issue with this at all!


NTA. But in the future I would put any extra money aside for a college fund for your daughter unless it’s an emergency. You don’t want him ever using that against you down the line.


I am of the unpopular personal belief that CS money should only go to the child. First to pay their expenses and any left over should be put in an account for their future. THAT SAID NTA. You only took 100$ after spending your personal money on your daughter. However I would not make a pattern of this, as once things are habitual they tend to escalate, perhaps it’s 100$ today, maybe it’s several whole checks for a new car in a few years.


It's not leftover money. Her child support was late, so the child-related expenses for those months had to be fronted entirely by her. If he'd paid on time, she could have used the money for the child and then saved her own money for the laptop she needs, but he didn't pay on time


It cost way more than $400 a month to take care of a child. There is no left over child support money.


Not every payment for every person is 400 it’s dependent on income


Right. But in the instance we're talking about its $400 which is why I used that number. For his share of child expenses if he consistently paid that on time there would never be any left over.


YTA. That money is earmarked for the kiddo. Always. You shouldn’t be relying on it for yourself or even for all of your other expenses. It is meant to supplement the cost of raising a child. Not buy you a computer. That money could/should have been put into savings for her.


She paid for everything for the child herself, this child support money was just paying her back. If paid on time it wouldn't have been an issue


That doesn’t really make sense though. There is no ‘paying yourself back’ in this kind of situation. Both parents have expenses related to the child. The child support money goes directly towards the child, not as a reimbursement for regularly accrued costs. Any left over should be going into savings. If she is spending more than 400 of her own money on the kiddo (plus his 400) then she should go for an adjustment through the courts if the costs are higher. The money isn’t a supplement for the other parents needs.


But it wasn't left over it was paid late, if he paid on time she could have used her own money for it. Say he didn't pay for 10 years and she took on loans to cover that cost he should have paid for, she would be perfectly entitled to use that money to repay the loans.


I feel like I’m missing something.


No I totally get that. I understand. I just don’t see that stated clearly in her post. Admittedly the first paragraph is confusing but it says explicitly that she had been saving money for a computer but was short 100 bucks and used the CS money. It isn’t clear (to me) that is was hers to spend but that she had already covered the kids needs for the month. Even if her child only cost 200/month to care for, the child support balance of 100 should be going to an account for the kid.


If she happened to spend less than 400 per month then I agree the excess should be saved, but let's be honest, kids cost more than that. She already said she spent her whole paycheck on care for the kid (might have been in a comment) so that's not the case here. Child support is only a subsidy in the cost of raising the child, it doesn't exceed that cost.


Okay. It must be extra info in the comments that clarifies some of my confusion. Kids cost a fortune for sure. I think I was confused that she spent her 400+300 from him and used the other hundred for herself. I’m sure she spends more than 400/month and it isn’t a perfect system but that’s the cost of being the custodial parent.


This is tough because *morally* it's for your daughter and that's the point of child support. But improving your education will give her a better life and as long as you can handle bills for the month, I say NTA. But make sure you raise her to know the value of a dollar. Don't let her think she was born with a silver tune in her mouth.


Given that OP specifically mentioned that the child support is habitually late, and that the child's needs are still taken care of as they arise; it looks like this may just be a case where(whether out of malice or ignorance) the ex is treating the specific dollars that arrived as part of the child support payment as special-child-support-dollars; rather than recognizing that dollars are fungible and a child's support is essentially a budget item that two people are supposed to be paying into. If OP is stuck waiting for his share of the child support to arrive, while covering her share and any shortfalls as the kid's needs arise, it is quite likely that she is effectively loaning some money to the child support budget until the ex's contribution arrives. If so, paying herself back for any shortfalls she covered isn't dipping into the money allocated for the child at all, even if the specific dollars in question arrived as part of a support check rather than a paycheck.


I don't disagree! Her ex needs to Auntie up!


Yes…BUT she pays the child care expenses, bills, food and everything else before the child support arrives. Those are things that should actually be paid in part by child support. If anything his payment is actually Reimbursement rather than support. She can utilize that money without crossing any moral boundaries. NTA


Then the money is just a blessing in the skies and she can use it as she sees fit.


User name checks out…I think you mean ‘Blessing in Disguise’


YTA. Be grateful, they actually pay child support, they don't have to pay it and they are not forced to pay it, it will just come out of that paycheck, and if that person stops working well, then your extra little paycheck is gone. That money is meant for your child and only your child, not your little personal expenses no, I don't care what other people say that is meant for your child. You're not so lutely terrible parent, you use the child support cheque that is meant for your kids, not you, your child it's called child support for a reason it's not little extra paycheck for you. you should feel bad about this, you could have waited a bit longer, it's a personal expense, not something that you actually needed, you don't need a laptop this quickly you could have waited a bit longer, but no, you sure had to go on use something that your child is dependent on! And again, at be grateful that they actually check paid child support after this, they might not pay again after that the government will just take it out of his paycheck and if they stop working well then you're screwed!


I dont feel bad as I spent my entire paycheck on my children. Its not an extra pay check. And it's to further my education so I can provide more. I provide absolutely everything for that child, he provides maybe $400 a month. And a terrible parent? How dare you! I have given up everything, I almost gave up my life for this child! I gave up my education for my children. I needed a laptop as I can't drag my child to the library every day to submit essays. And my child isn't dependent on his money, she is dependent on mine. I pay for everything. I am not going to be grateful for someone DOING THEIR JOB and providing for their child. And if they stop working, I won't be screwed thank you. And by law, until my child is 18 they are forced to pay it. In Australia. Or it keeps adding up. So no I DO NOT FEEL BAD FOR USING LESS THEN HALF OF MY CHILD SUPPORT.




I literally almost died having her? You are a 14 year old giving a mother advice? I am an amazing parent thank you.


BTW please don't listen to this child, you're doing your best, I hope nothing but the best for you :(


Don't think you're special many, many mothers almost died because of of childbirth, don't think you're special just because of that. I have seen what it's like for a parent to sneak some money here and there from a child support check, but some money soon adds up. I know what its like to grow up in that environment, and your child's gonna have a horrible, horrible adolescence if you keep up this shit. You are not a good parent from what I have read so far be a better parent!


You need to stop projecting your issues with your parents on the OP. She is not lucky that her ex pays, it is his obligation, just like it is your father's obligation that he is clearly not living up to. I'm sorry you didn't get the father you deserved, maybe even the mother you deserved but that is no excuse for you treating the OP this way.


You are a horrible child and need to stop taking out your own issues on op.


Let me get this straight. You think she isn't making enough because her whole paycheck is going towards her daughter's care. Yet you criticize her for spending money for something that will help her make more money later? And you think she is lucky the dad sends any money for the upkeep of their child, do you also think the dad is lucky that she spends so much more from her paycheck to take care of their daughter, as well as providing all of her care? Please make sure to stay in school. Your logic makes zero sense.


I'm sorry your dad doesn't love you enough to care, but you should take your issues to a counselor or therapist, instead of taking it out on single mothers on the internet


> don't have to pay it and they are not forced to pay it, it will just come out of that paycheck, and if that person stops working well, then your extra little paycheck is gone That is very much not how it works. Falling behind on payments gives the state the right to put a lien on your house and car, take money out of most large payments you receive (be it work, welfare, disability, tax returns, etc), and even suspend your driver's license. It also fucks your credit. If the judge thinks that you are refusing to work or are purposely earning less to spite the child support payments, they have the right to make you pay based on what your earning potential is rather than your current income.


YTA - I receive $400/month child support, so I feel I can make a fair assessment. My son's child support is my son's money, not mine. It's to take care of my son. If you spent it on a laptop for your daughter, that's fine. Entertainment or school needs for your daughter should he included in spending justification of child support. My ex is over $10K behind. I spend so much money out of my own pocket for my son. That's my job as a mom. I'm not required to buy plane tickets for visitation, but I do. I don't reimburse myself with child support money. I just put the money in a separate account when I can so that he can use it when he's 18 and moves out on his own. How you spend child support money on your kid is not your ex's business, but it's practices like yours that make it look bad for other mom's who need and don't get the support. I'm not a fan of Kanye West, but your action reminds me of his song "G o l d D i g g e r." I would have borrowed the money for the laptop from someone else before I even considered touching my son's money. Even if this is the first time you've used it on yourself, it's still wrong.


Except that $400 being paid late was actually reimbursement for the money already spent by OP to take care of kids needs 100% from OPs money before the payment arrived. Every time ex pays late OP is essentially loaning the ex $400 and getting paid back when the check arrives. It is not simply only spent on kid. It cant work that way if the ex is paying late and OP has to cover the ex's share with their own money, if it can ever work that way given some child expenses are hidden like OP having larger rent payments for a 2 bedroom home when they would only need a one bedroom if they didnt have custody of the kid for example.


Taking care of your financial obligations to raise your kids on part of your own dime isn't a child support loan. The $400/month is intended to help with expenses, not subsidize them. If it's "late", ok... And? This is not a new pattern and she can adjust her lifestyle to reflect the delay. Use the end of the months payments of child support towards next month's bills instead of the other way around where you're waiting around for the amount as reimbursement. Suck it up for a month. Eat cheap... Hot dogs, ramen, spaghetti o's and pb&j for a little bit and as soon as the CS is paid, pay rent for the next month. That should help with the anxiety. Then she can use her "own money" for the laptop.


Your opinion is disgraceful and wrong.


Lol. Ok.


So, if your son's dad didn't pay you for a month, you would feed your kid less and eat normally yourself since your son doesn't have any money for it? If you loaned your son the money to eat this circumstance, would you pay yourself back when our ex eventually paid you, or would you just write it off as a loss?


I don't understand your question. Why would I feed myself more than my son? My ex has had several times where he hasn't paid in months. I was evicted at one time bc I didn't make enough money for rent on my own and he stopped paying child support. I would do what I have to in order to provide for my son, even if it were to beg on a street corner or spread my legs if I became that desperate. You know who benefits? My son. I write it off as a loss bc the state won't go after my ex for the arears and I'm the one blessed enough to have primary custody. Paying for my son's care out of my own pocket isn't a loan to his dad. It's called being a responsible parent.




I don't spend my kid's money on myself. My ex is $10K behind. It doesn't mean the pittance he gives me should go in my pocket. If I can't afford the laptop, postpone the class a semester or borrow the money. Seek therapy for the anxiety.


Child support is money to take care of the kid. If the parent receiving child support (the child doesn’t receive it) pays for all the expenses that the child support is supposed to cover, that money is typically meant to “pay back” the portion that should have been covered by child support initially. It’s not the kid’s money, it’s the parent’s money. Sincerely, a child of divorced parents.


The money I spend on my kids is not a child support loan. Child support is meant to help, not subsidize a person's income and it's for the kids, not the parent's laptop. Ask Judge Judy. If it costs $800/month to raise you, then $400 should come from each parent. If I pay for the whole $800 a month without child support, that means I'm not a deadbeat and you're doing great bc you are the priority, as it should be. When I get that $800 in arears, it's still the child's money and should be saved for the child. When the child is 18 they can sue for arears, which goes in their pocket, and not mom's or dad's. Should they turn those checks over to mom or dad bc they need reimbursement to be a parent for 18 years? How silly. I cut my "losses" bc although it should be the responsibility of my ex to pay his part, he often doesn't. With that reimbursement mindset I should just pocket all of the child support money I've put aside in savings for my son's future (about $4K) even though his dad is $10K + in arears. I personally don't think it's right to take that money away from my son's future. It feels like stealing. Sincerely, a divorced mom.


A child can’t sue for arrears, as it is money owned to the **parent** who receives the child support. The exception to that is if the custodial parent (the one who gets child support) does and the child is suing on the behalf of the estate. Here’s a couple things about the purpose of child support > Child support seeks to better balance the financial responsibilities associated with raising the child by requiring one parent to pay a certain amount of child support to the other parent. And > Some states go so far as to state that any payments made directly to an adult child are considered a gift and do not decrease the amount of arrearages. As well as > In most cases, an adult child does not have legal standing to directly sue his or her parent for unpaid child support. [Source ](https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/can-an-adult-child-be-compensated-for-back-child-support-42457) Child support is counted as income for the parent, and it affects taxes food stamps, and any other kind of benefits that the custodial parent could get. [Source 1 ](https://oklahoma.gov/okdhs/library/afshandbook/child-care-income/child-support.html) [Source 2, referring to child support as income](https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/child-support-cooperation-requirements-in-snap-are-unproven-costly-and-put)


I've seen it done first hand, so it must depend on where you're at.


In response to your deleted comment: You can absolutely set up a separate bank account to receive child support deposits. Or, transfer the money into a separate account when it hits. The entire premise of the GD song is that the mother is getting child support and spending it on herself. That is exactly what you did. You can't justify the spending by saying it's to ultimately benefit your kids bc you'll get a better job. You're claiming to be doing the wrong thing for the "right" reasons. You spent money that was not intended for you on yourself and are trying to justify it. It doesn't make you any less wrong. If you need to postpone class for a semester so that you can save for and afford a laptop, that would have been a better option than stealing from your kid.