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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