Why Paying Child Support Directly To Your Ex Is A Mistake

Question:divorce lawyer Erin Clark

My question is about child support laws when paying your ex directly.

I have paid every penny of child support I owed, but I received a notice that I owed $10,000 in child support arrears. This is likely because sometimes I would pay my ex-wife directly so the payments didn’t go through the child support office.

If my ex isn’t willing to admit she received the payments, is there anything that can be done?


I cannot offer you legal advice on divorce. However, I can give you general divorce tips for men that may be helpful to you.

Under Texas law (where I practice), a court shall order the payment of child support to the state disbursement unit. This means that your Final Decree of Divorce probably contains similar language requiring your payments to be made directly to the state disbursement unit or withdrawn automatically from your paycheck.

Some divorce decrees provide that the party ordered to pay child support shall not receive credit for informal payments. If your decree contained this language, it is unlikely that the state disbursement unit will recognize your direct payments to your ex-spouse.

Your only remedies would be to provide proof of those payments, or have your ex-spouse sign an Affidavit swearing that he or she received those payments.

I would have a licensed divorce lawyer review your divorce decree and child support payment records to determine what specific litigation avenues you can pursue.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyer, including Erin E. Clark, an Associate Attorney in the Fort Worth, Texas office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Why Paying Child Support Directly To Your Ex Is A Mistake

    My soon to be ex and I currently live in Texas. We are looking at an uncontested divorce. However we would like to do child support directly from my spouse and not have to go through a 3rd party. Is that legal in Texas?

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