Do I Pay my Ex Child Support if my Son Lives on His Own, Can I Give Him the Money Directly?

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“This is the situation: my son who is now 18, moved out of his mother’s home (missouri) two years ago. Since then he has been on his own, at that time I discussed with his mother, sending the support payments directly to him. She absolutely protested. From the age of 16 to 18 he was living with his sister (my step daughter) and financially speaking, she really needed the money to help pay for expenses, but her mother would not allow it. To avoid any further chaos, I continued to send the payments to her, with hopes my son would see some of it. My stepdaughter commited to live in missouri until my son/her brother graduated from high school. He did in May of this year. My stepdaughter moved back to california and since then my son has been living with his girlfriend and her family. He is employed and going to college. He is responsible and is proving himself as an independent adult. He wants to move out on his own & possibly purchase a home. This is my question: my divorce order states that I am to pay for him until the age of 23 if he is in college. I am happy to do so. However, I am now sending the support directly to him as he is not dependent on his mother for any financial needs. She has since threatened numerous times to take me to court so that support continues to be paid to her. I wrote you before (thank you so much – the information was very valuable!) And I realize I need to make a modification, which I am in the process of doing. But, what exactly is the “child support” to cover? In this case he is 18, dependent, and not under her roof, I pay for his auto ins, & dental ins. ( And although I’m not sure about his health ins. Since he turned 18, I had been paying his mother prior to him turning 18, money in addition to spousal & child support for health ins. His mother however, instead of using the money for ins. Kept the money and put him on state aid!) Bottom line: she says the money still goes to her to “maintain” a home for him to “visit/stay” at, and that is the basis for the money to still go to her. Now only she & her boyfriend live in the house. My child support payment is $135.00 Per week. Also, I’m not sure which “home” she is refering to; the one she & son/s moved into years ago to live with her boyfriend or the one next door she purchased a few years ago that nobody lives in.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You still need to just get the modification of support based on the change in circumstances. Support should be to cover your child’s living expenses. Agreements for the support of adult and dependent children may be valid. However if the goal is the support of the child, then payments sent to mother may not be accomplishing that goal. Your case will still need to be argued to the Court to show why the payee of support as delineated in your judgment needs to be changed.

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Author: House Attorney

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