Technically, child support belongs to the child it is intended to support. Realistically, most children are not capable of managing their own finances, so one parent acts as the child’s financial manager and receives the support on his or her behalf. Some parents may want to know if they can bypass the custodial parent and give the money directly to the child.
Why a parent may want to pay directly to the child
In most cases the parent receiving support uses the money to provide for the child’s needs — including food, housing, clothing, education and medical care — as the law specifies. In some instances, however, a paying parent may have reason to suspect the child support is not being used appropriately. Some of these cases include:
If the paying parent suspects their support is not benefiting the child in the manner it should, that parent can take measures to seek a modification order or permission to redirect the payments.
Options for paying directly or indirectly
When a child reaches an age at which they can take some financial responsibility, it may be possible for the paying parent to set up a system for paying directly to the child or to a third party who can assist an older child in managing their finances. If the recipient parent is willing to participate in mediation to work out a method of managing the child support payments this can be an excellent alternative to returning to court.
If the recipient parent objects to changing the child support payment structure, any changes need to go through the court by way of a petition for modification in child support. A skilled and experienced divorce attorney can assist you with this petition and all of your family law needs.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 28 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is a Senior Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She primarily practices in the areas of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Alexandra is a practicing matrimonial and family law attorney as…