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.

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.

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?

Child support is money paid by a noncustodial parent to cover a portion of the child's expenses. Texas child support payments are based on the income of the noncustodial parent, but a custodial parent may seek an increase in child support to cover some things, such as extraordinary medical expenses. Child support can be used to cover a number of expenses, and the custodial parent has broad discretion in determining how to use child support.

In a Divorce Am I Responsible for Kids That Are Not Mine?

There are some situations in which you can ask a court to legally terminate your responsibility for supporting children who are not yours after your divorce. Whether you are held responsible for supporting the children depends on the children's legal status as your biological kids, your adopted children, your stepchildren or children born during your marriage who are shown to have been fathered by another man.

Medical Power of Attorney for Child Care

A medical power of attorney for child care is used to give another person the legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf for your child. The medical decisions authorized by the power of attorney can include both preventive and emergency treatment. However, the medical power of attorney does not give another person the right to make any non-medical parental decisions.

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