What can I do if my ex-wife gambles all her money plus child support I give her every month without spending any of it on my twin daughters?
In Utah there is a law that should help a parent like you. I say “should” because while this statutory provision undeniably exists, I have NEVER heard of any court actually applying it. Still, there’s a first time for everything, and perhaps your case may be that first time (it can’t hurt to know about this statutory provision):
Utah Code § 78B-12-218. Accountability of support provided to benefit child — Accounting.
(1) The court or administrative agency which issues the initial or modified order for child support may, upon the petition of the obligor, order prospectively the obligee to furnish an accounting of amounts provided for the child’s benefit to the obligor, including an accounting or receipts.
(2) The court or administrative agency may prescribe the frequency and the form of the accounting which shall include receipts and an accounting.
(3) The obligor may petition for the accounting only if current on all child support that has been ordered.
So an ex-wife who gambles all her child support money every month would strike me as conditions under which a court would and should conclude that equity dictates the child support recipient (the “obligee”) furnish to the obligor an accounting of how the obligee spends child support. But as I stated previously, I have yet to see a court ever order a child support recipient to account for how she/he spends child support money. To me, it makes all the sense in the world either 1) to have a child support obligee provide an accounting of how she/he spends that money to ensure that it’s spent for the benefit of the child(ren); or 2) structure the payment and spending of child support funds so that the obligor (and thus the court) can track how those funds are spent and to ensure they are spent responsibly and for the benefit of the child.
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