Can Child Support Be Paid Directly to the Child?

By Teo Spengler

A divorced dad may look at his kid's worn tennis shoes and wonder what in the heck all that child support he pays is being used to purchase. If you are in that situation, you can gift your child money or new shoes, but you must continue to make your child support check out to your ex-spouse.

A divorced dad may look at his kid's worn tennis shoes and wonder what in the heck all that child support he pays is being used to purchase. If you are in that situation, you can gift your child money or new shoes, but you must continue to make your child support check out to your ex-spouse.

Child Support Obligation

Both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their dependent children. While the custodial parent has a legal obligation to keep food in the kids' mouths and a roof over their heads, the non-custodial parent must give his spouse money to help pay for those costs. His obligation is not fulfilled by giving the money to anyone other than the spouse or a state agency designated to collect child support.

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Control Over Family Finances

When you are the non-custodial parent obligated to pay child support, you have no control over how the money is used or how your ex-spouse manages her family finances. If you believe that your spouse is failing to meet the basic needs of the children, you can bring a complaint for child neglect to the appropriate authorities.

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What Is Child Support Technically Supposed to Be Used for in Texas?

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Divorce Law for Support of Stepchild in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children, and this obligation continues after parents divorce. When ex-spouses remarry, the new step-parent has no legal responsibility to support the children of his new spouse, so step-parents are not obligated to pay child support for their step-children.

What Does Child Support Typically Pay For?

Child support is typically calculated to cover the basic living expenses of the child, but in most cases, it is entirely up to the receiving parent how to spend the funds. A parent may choose to set aside the received child support payments and earmark them specifically for purchases for the child, or intermingle them with the household funds used to pay rent, grocery and utility bills.

What Happens When a Dad Who Owes Child Support Dies?

Many people assume when they divorce with minor children that both parents will be around to see each child through graduation and into college. Just as the death of a spouse is often a shock to his widow financially, the death of an ex-husband can send shockwaves through his former wife’s current family who has been relying upon his financial support of the children. If back child support is owed, the custodial parent may worry that she’ll never recover the money.

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