When you don't live with your children, you might be ordered to pay for child support. While you give this to your ex, it is meant to help with the costs of raising your children. Your ex can use these payments to cover things like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, clothing for the child, school costs and other similar items. It is usually co-mingled in the household money, so your ex won't account for everything that it is spent on. This can be troubling for some paying parents, but don't let that stop you from making the payments.
Failing to make the payments as ordered by the court can lead to you having additional legal troubles. These can include some very serious penalties, so you can't let your account get into the arrears. If you are having difficulties paying, you need to do your best to keep up with them.
On top of the payments you make to your ex, you may have to cover some of the other child-related expenses. Health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs might be covered in the order. Be sure that you understand all of this so that you are able to keep up with your responsibilities.
If there comes a point when you can't make the payments, take the time to file a modification petition right away. This might help you get the amount you have to pay reduced, but it is only possible if you have something happen that meets the requirements. We can help you learn about whether your case meets these or not.