The laws surrounding child support may seem simple at first. You have an order to pay a specific amount of money every month in order to support your child. After a divorce, once you work out a parenting plan and have a court order, you must follow through with it. This doesn’t mean that it can’t change, of course. There are circumstances that can lead to alterations of the child support order. What if you make purchases outside of child support, though? What if you make payments aside from the order of support? Does that count towards your payment?
Purchases Made Outside of Child Support
Despite making child support payments, odds are you will probably pay for other items for your child. If you have joint custody, you may have to pay for the child’s basic needs while he or she is at your home. In addition, you have entertainment expenses, school expenses, and any other costs associated with your child.
Another example of expenses that you might pay includes extracurricular activities. Say that your child calls you to ask for help paying for sports fees. You pay the fee and then wonder if that counts towards your child support. Can you receive credit?
Payments Given to Children
If you make purchases or payments towards your child outside of the child support order, these are considered gifts. In the eyes of the law, you cannot receive credit for them. It doesn’t matter if you offer the payment to the child or to your former spouse. This does not mean that you can’t receive credit at all, though. You just cannot expect it to come straight from the court.
Normally, your former spouse will have to contact the courts. He or she can request that the court credits you the money. Otherwise, it would be seen as a gift. If you feel as though you are paying too much of your income towards child support, you can always request to modify that order.
If you find yourself confused by your child support order or if you think that it’s time to modify the order, then you should consult with a skilled lawyer. A lawyer will work by your side to come up with a solution that works for you. Circumstances in life can change and if you feel like your support payments need to be modified, then your best course of action is through a lawyer.