Be Careful When Applying Gifts to Child Support

When you have a child support order, you have a specific amount that you have to pay every month. What happens if you pay more than that amount? Many parents provide above and beyond the child support order. You may supply the money in the form of payments, money for school supplies, extracurricular activities or several other reasons. Does this count towards your child support? It can count towards child support under special circumstances.

Don’t Assume an Amount Counts Towards Child Support

The biggest mistake that the noncustodial parent can make is to assume that the payments count towards child support. Often, the court will consider any payments or items outside of the normal support order to be considered gifts. For instance, if you buy your child toys or set up a trust fund, then this is not necessarily a part of your child support payments. If you want any of your money to count towards the support order, you have to clear it with the judge first. Child support payments have to pay for the basic care and upkeep of a child. Anything outside of that may be considered a gift by the court.

How to Obtain Credit for Child Support

There are cases where you may be able to use an expense for child support. First, the payment or gift has to provide for your child. For instance, if your child wants to take part in extracurricular activities or spend the summer at camp, your payments could be counted towards your child support. To have these payments count towards your obligation, you and your former spouse have to agree that these payments count towards child support. Your ex can contact the court to ask the court to give you a credit for the money. If the two of you do not agree, then he or she may keep the payments as a gift and your obligation would remain the same.

Child support can be a complex subject. Many noncustodial parents assume that any payments that they make should go towards the child support payment. Before you make any assumptions, it is crucial that you discuss your situation with a child support lawyer. If you are making regular payments for other necessities for your child, then you may want to discuss a change of your child support order. For more information on child support orders and gifts, consult with a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA from Robinson & Hadeed, as soon as possible.