Can I make my support payments directly to my ex? Should I?
Generally speaking, you should not make support payments directly to the custodial parent unless your Divorce Decree specifies that you do so. Some Support Enforcement offices (or equivalent local authority) will not recognize payments made directly to the non-custodial parent, and will therefore not credit or apply the direct payments to the suppport obligation, causing an erroneous (false) arrears amount to be listed.
The courts have repeatedly upheld this position, oftentimes ruling that these payments are to be considered "gifts", separate from the mandated support payments.
Our suggestion is to arrange your support to be paid through the local Support Enforcement office, or by wage garnishment. The advantage to wage garnishment is that once the money is deducted from your paycheck, you generally bear no further responsibility for it. It is up to the employer from that point on to ensure that the money is transferred in a timely and proper manner.
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