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Can grandparents, aunts and uncles and even unrelated third parties pay your child support? In Georgia, the answer is yes. For a free uncontested divorce consultation contact The Hughes Law Office at 770-933-0780 or LMHLAW@GMAIL.COM.

Direct payments of child support to the children:

States have taken different approaches to the issue of direct payment of child support to the children, ranging from the more liberal position that child support payments can be made directly to the children to giving the obligor credit for child support payments in certain circumstances. Under Georgia law, refusing to give credit for checks sent to the child when the custodial parent did not have access to the funds. These courts recognized that the custodial parent has the privilege and responsibility of dictating how child support funds should be used. Unless the custodial parent receives the money and is in control of how it is disbursed, then giving the obligor parent credit toward his child support obligation for monies given directly to the child interferes with this right.  Smith v. Smith, 255 S.W.3d 77 (Tenn. App., 2007).

Payment of child support by third parties:

In Dyal v. Dyal, 65 Ga.App. 359, 16 S.E.2d 53 (Ga. App., 1941), the court held that “Where a judgment or decree is payable to one for the use and benefit of another [here, the children], and it appears that the beneficiary has received that which was due him under the decree, the law will not require the person paying the money to the real beneficiary to answer to the nominal party therefor. See Allen v. Napier, 144 Ga. 38 (Ga. 1915). In Napier the court held:

In the case at bar the real beneficiary has been paid the money to which he was entitled; and, even if the administrator as the nominal party plaintiff was technically entitled to have the money pass through his hands and be by him paid to the beneficiary, yet the law will not require an unnecessary thing to be done; and, the beneficiary having received that which was due him from the proceeds of the suit, the attorneys who collected the money and paid it over will not, at the instance of the nominal party who has no interest in the proceeds of the suit, be made to answer to him for it. That has been done which ought to have been done, and there the matter should rest. The court did not err in dismissing the rule.

See also Smith v Smith, 255 S.W.3d 77 (2007) where child support paid directly to child, endorsed by mother, was credited as child support.

Agreement of the Parties:

Another line of cases involves oral modification of child support based on equity. Daniel v. Daniel, 239 Ga. 466, 238 S.E.2d 108 (1977); distinguishing, 238 Ga. 595, 234 S.E.2d 510 (1977) and cases cited therein; Smith v. Smith, 255 S.W.3rd 77 (2007). And see generally Brogdon v. Brogdon, 290 Ga. 618, 723 S.E.2d 421 (2012) (Deviations for extraordinary educational expenses and special educational expenses in the GA guidelines. Deviation must be reasonably necessary to provide for the needs of the child, in the best interest of the child, and presumptive amount would be unjust or inappropriate considering the relative ability of each parent to provide support.).

The Hughes Law Office avails itself of online divorce e-Filing for speed and efficiency.  Attorney Hughes has over 35 years of broad experience in civil matters and has dedicated his practice to uncontested divorces in Georgia. Call us at 770-933-0780.

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