child eating pizzaChild support is ordered to be paid by Texas judges in terms of monetary support. In my 25 years of practicing family law, I have never seen a judge approve a court order for payment of child support in some manner other than cash money.

But, then I saw this article (Italian court rules divorced chef can pay child support in pizza) that made me think outside-the-box about creative alternatives for payment of child support that will still support the child, yet not involve an exchange of cash.

A chef in Italy was ordered to pay about $335 in monthly child support to his ex-wife. But, his business suffered a major financial set back, making cash payments difficult for him. So, he offered the same form of compensation in food from his business. Pizza, calzones, and other menu items were included in the deal. The ex-wife at first refused to accept the food as tender for child support, so the parties went in front of a judge in a contested hearing. The Judge ordered that, in light of Italy’s financial crises in 2008, he could remit payment of child support in the form of food. Unfortunately, the chef had to close his business in 2010 and could no longer pay in food. But the story ends happily because in 2011, the daughter moved in with the father full-time.

The reality is that supporting a child requires cash. Electric companies, mortgages, car payments, and retail clothing businesses all require cash money in exchange for their goods and services. They won’t accept pizza as currency. But, this gives food (pun intended!) for thought about creative solutions in the right set of circumstances for providing child support when cash isn’t available.