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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19286
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I pay child support 27 year old mentally disabled daughter

Customer Question

I pay child support for my 27 year old mentally disabled daughter as ordered by PA Domestic Relations. She lives with her mother who has primary custodial care. Domestics holds me responsible for 98% of her financial support including providing a health care plan. My daughter's 53 year old mother claims she is physically disabled herself therefore she is unable to work for the past 12 months plus and reports zero income. Domestics has ordered her to file for SSD for herself and my daughter but it is very doubtful she has completed this and if she has if she will be approved. In the mean time the mother is using the daughters child support for her financial needs, home mortgage, car payments, taxes, insurances, general living expenses etc. My daughter is a ward of the Orphans Court, they annually request reports regarding information on the person and estate. Assets and spending is questioned but I seem to be caught between Domestics and the Orphans Court. Since the spending of child support monies is not monitored by Domestics and the Orphans Court is not involved with the order there is a definite gap allowing the mother to spend at will with no accountability. What suggestions can you offer to help mitigate these concerns?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Could you explain a little more?

Who files the report with Orphan's Court? You or your ex?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since we were both awarded co-Guadians in 2008 the Orphan's Court sends the reports annually to both of us (mother & father). We are divorced and my daughter lives primarily with mom so many if not all of the questions related to assets are answered as unknown by me. As I previously mentioned I pay child support as ordered by PA Domestics so I have no control over how the money is spent by the mother. The amount being paid is significant enough that the mother is supporting herself and my daughter from the so called child support payments. The Orphan's Court is looking the other way because of the term child support and Domestics by law does not hold her accountable because of it being child support. The term child support does not seem appropriate to me for a 27 year old disabled adult. Again I am looking for a means to hold the mother accountable for my daughter's assets?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information.

Regrettably, if you are paying child support (and it is the proper name for it) and the child lives primarily with the mother, the expenses that you listed are proper expenses eventhough they may appear that the mother are misusing them. The adult child has to have a place to live and I am assuming that the mother takes her in the car for her doctor's appointments and other things. So, using the child support to pay for household expenses that in turn benefits the child is a proper use of the child support payments.

There is really nothing that the child support enforcement (“Domestics”) or Orphan Court would do in this regard because the child support is being used properly. As for your report, you can only answer to the best of your knowledge.

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