Child support is meant to be paid at regular intervals, often monthly. Some child-support terms are also set up for weekly or biweekly payments. With such regularly occurring payments, it is easy to plan for your and your child's life. If the noncustodial parent who pays child support tends to pay late or not pay at all sometimes, it can be difficult to plan on how to integrate the child-support payments in your life. Consider a few methods for investing irregular child-support payments.
Get one month ahead on bills
If you are already struggling financially, the nonreceipt of child support can put you in a bind. If you notice that you receive child support less regularly than you should, consider putting up the received child-support payments to get a month ahead on bills. Choose your largest bill, often your housing cost or car payment, to get ahead on when you receive the support. That way if you have a hard month later on and you don't receive a child support payment, you will won't be threatened with eviction or repossession.
Save for a parent-child vacation fund
If you are able to manage without the sporadic child support that you receive, instead of stressing about what to do with it, use it for something fun. Start a vacation fund with your child. At the beginning of the year select a place with your child for a trip that you want to take during the summer. Save for the trip and add in any overdue and current child-support funds that you receive. The vacation is a great investment, as it will give you the chance to see your child have the time of your life and allow you to completely destress from your daily routine.
Create a college fund
If you are looking toward the future of your child, a college fund is one of the best ways to give her or him a hand up. Establish a 529 plan or a high-interest savings account for your child's education. Throw all child-support monies into this account. This way you won't have to ask the other parent to contribute to the larger expense, and you can spend your money taking care of the needs that you have now. By saving for your child's education with the child support, you are investing in their future, and you can use any extra savings each month to invest in your own retirement.
If you need help to get the child-support money you are legally owed, consider speaking with a family lawyer from Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP.