Do Gifts Count as Child Support

When there is no working agreement between ex-spouses or the individual provides money outside of the court judgment for child support, it is often taken as a gift rather than alternatives to spousal or child support payments. Before assuming the money is a gift, it is important to consider the matter carefully and consult with a lawyer. If the father or mother provides the youth with money, gifts or other items that should take the place of child support payments, he or she may not receive credit for these items if they are not first cleared with the courts or the other parent. An agreement to pay for other items rather than child support is another mistake if there is no prior arrangement or clearly defined plans in place. Insurance coverage, health and well-being or even providing supplies for school and other events are some items that are often confused for child support.

It is important to first clear any possible outside payments, items or arrangements with the courts when the parents process the child support and other arrangements through a judge. The courts may consider anything outside of the usual child support payments as a gift no matter who they go to. This could include giving the ex-spouse money or other items. Giving the child toys, a trust or funds outside of the usual arrangements are often considered gifts by the court even if they are meant as part of the child support payments. The courts will not count them with child support if not first cleared through the judge involved in the case. The courts may have little to do with additional gifts or when the parent wants to seek alternative ways of caring for the child from the marriage.

It is important to consult with a family law lawyer when the parent receives gifts from the other parent for the child or ex-spouse. Maintaining a friendly relationship and improving the connection to the youth is important for both parents and in progressing through the future. Don’t be caught breaking the law. Learn your rights when it comes to gifts. Contact the child support experts at 505-880-8737 or email us at