Can I Pay Child Support Directly To My Children If They Are In College?

divorce lawyer Kristen BuzzelliQuestion:

Can I pay child support directly to my child if the child is over 18 years old and attending college?

I am unsure why my ex-wife should continue to receive child support from me when I can give that money directly to my child and ensure he is receiving all of it.


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Missouri child support laws where I am licensed to practice.

Child support payments in my state may be made directly to the child, if the child is at least 18 years of age and enrolled in college or vocational school.

However, in order for child support payments to be made to the child directly the noncustodial parent must petition the court to amend the original child support order.

If you do not amend the child support order and simply make payments to the child and not your ex-spouse, then those payments will be considered gifts and you will receive no credit toward your child support from the Family Support Division.

Additionally for a child support obligation to continue after a child turns 18 years of age, my state’s child support laws require the child to be enrolled in college or vocational school for at least 12 credits per semester and to submit a transcript or other official document as proof to the non-custodial parent.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Missouri Divorce Lawyer Kristen M. Buzzelli, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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4 comments on “Can I Pay Child Support Directly To My Children If They Are In College?

    Divorce states both parents pay 50/50 for college expenses. I have paid my share but my ex refuses to pay anything. How do I get him to pay?

    I am looking to pay child support directly to my son who is turn 18 in a couple of days. How do I petition the courts to do so?

    custodial parent is withholding child support from honors college-attending child. a new step-father drug addict is influencing the situation. child has not lived in the custodial parent’s home since she started college. divorce decree says non-custodial parent pays til she is 23 or until graduates college. the non-custodial parent is going to petition the court to have the money sent to child, but will take months. can the child independently petition the court to have the support sent directly to her??? obviously she has no money for court since she is working 2 jobs to cover her own expenses. she is going to be forced to quit school since she can’t pay her rent (plenty $$$ in child support check).

    My divorce decree says I pay support until child is both 18 and has graduated high school. Decree finalized in Missouri in 1996. When both those things happened I quit paying the full amount which I was paying to my ex but sending through state child services. (They requested I send to them when she applied for food stamps a few yrs back). I called them at the time and was told they did not show I owed anything more. Now 1-1/2 yrs later I get a notice from child services telling me to start sending payments to them again. I have been giving the child the equivalent of the payment each month. He still lives with mom and is attending a junior college. decree does say I pay half of college but he is gettign full aid and nop costs have been incurred to me on that end.

    Does my decree trump?

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