Do Things I Buy For My Child Count as Child Support?

Making Alternative Payments

If you have a court order mandating that you pay child support, then it is both your duty and obligation to make those payments on time. It is important that you keep these payments regular for both the sake of your child and to avoid any potential penalties.

Say, however, that you want to make an alternative payment in the form of a gift for your child, perhaps because you believe your child support amount is too high at the moment. Does that count toward your child support obligation? Here’s what you should keep in mind.

Gifts are Gifts

Missouri courts consider any potential payment or arrangement outside of the child support order to be a gift and do not count the amount or value of that gift toward your monthly support payment. This means that purchasing a toy for your child at the store, for example, cannot be considered an alternative means of child support. The same would be true for a monetary birthday gift for the child.

Working an Arrangement

It is possible, however, to come to an agreement with your spouse on alternative arrangements for child support to include certain financial gifts such as contributions to a college fund or an account with regular deposits to be used by the child as they come of age. Should this type of situation be true of you, then it would be up to your and your spouse to come up with an arrangement that includes the amount per month and the regular increments and submit this to the court along with proper legal documentation.

When these steps are followed, the court could potentially give credit for these financial gifts to the payer as an alternative to the child support amount. It is important, however, to speak with a family law attorney about these matters.

Seek a Columbia Family Law Attorney

If you are concerned about the amount of child support you are paying per month and believe you might qualify for a modification, seeking out legal advice is the first step to take. At Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices, we work closely with our clients throughout each step of the process in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Contact us today at (573) 279-1349 or visit our website to schedule your consultation with a member of our team.