Do You Have to Go to Court Before Paying Child Support?

By Teo Spengler

You have moved out of the family home, but you want to continue to care for your kids. No law keeps you from offering them financial and emotional support. An official child support order requires you to meet your financial obligations, but a loving parent may fulfill his responsibilities before, as well as after, the court intervenes.

Child Support Obligation

Both parents have a legal obligation to support their minor children financially, and this obligation can be enforced through the child support laws. As part of an action for divorce or separation, a court may determine how much the noncustodial parent should pay every month for his children's care. The order sets the beginning and ending date for child support payments, but the parties can always agree to a longer period.

Voluntary Child Support

If you want to continue to support your family financially after you leave the home, all you have to do is to hand over the money. It is wise, however, to draw up a written agreement with your spouse. That way, you can prove that the payments were for child support and you can claim any applicable tax benefits for the amounts paid.

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Alabama Collection & Distribution of Child Support

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