child support

Can Child Support Payments Be Paid Directly to My Child?

Understanding Missouri’s Regulations on Child Support Payments

Parenthood is a cherished, but expensive, gift. To account for the costs that accompany raising a child, parents are often legally required to provide financial support to the other parent. These child support payments represent a parent’s obligation to provide for their children.

Who Can I Give the Payments to?

Child support is named for who it supports, not who it’s given to. When parents are ordered or agree to pay child support, they enter a commitment with the other parent, not the child. Child support is paid by a parent to a parent to purchase necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter for the child. For the most part, child support cannot be paid to the child and must only be given to the custodial parent.

Cases When a Child Could Be Paid Directly

If your child begins college by October 1 following their high school graduation, you may be eligible to request a modification to your child support payments that allows you to pay your child directly for the remainder of their eligible receiving years. This typically lasts until they turn 21 or graduation, whichever comes first. However, this could be terminated sooner if they:

  • Become self-supporting
  • Fail to take at least 12 credit hours of courses per semester
  • Join the military
  • Enter into a marriage

Alternatively, if a child has a learning or developmental difference that requires additional care, the payments could continue beyond the child’s 21st birthday.

If you want to change where you send your child support payments, you must file a motion with the court. Our lawyers can help you do so.

Reach out to Lake Munro for further information regarding child support modifications: (314) 648-2186.