Asked in Child Support, Family Law and Tax Law for Oregon

Q: Can my boyfriend get child support payments paid directly to him since he is 18?

So general information:

My boyfriend is 18, and I am 19. We are both still enrolled in highschool.

My boyfriend gets child support payments from is adoptive/legal father, not his biological father. The child support payments are I believe, $300? But basically my boyfriend's mother gets the child support payments but she does not provide anything for him. The past couple of months he's been mostly living with me with an exception of going home once a month for a few days. His mother does not use the child support payments to provide for him really at all. Since he is 18 now, he wants to be able to get the child support payments paid directly to him/his bank account since he knows his mother is just using it for herself. I was just curious if this is a possibility or not. I just want the best for my boyfriend and he just wants to get the support he needs because his mother doesn't provide it. Thank you for the help!

2 Lawyer Answers

A: Child support payments are for CHILD SUPPORT. That means they are paid to the person responsible for supporting the child, which is certainly not the child. In some cases the court allows the mother (or the father, sometimes) to continue receiving the child support for some period of time after age 18--under certain agreed circumstances--like while the child is in college. Since your boyfriend just turned 18, I do not know whether that is the case here; but his mother does.

Bottom line: There is no way to force his mother to give up her right to receive child support from the person paying it.

Vincent J. Bernabei
Vincent J. Bernabei
  • Beaverton, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Yes it is possible under Oregon law to have child support paid directly to an adult child attending school. If support is paid by income withholding through the state, the state will make payment to the adult child directly unless the adult child has indicated another method of payment. Your boyfriend could also file a motion with the court to require both of his parents to pay support. This is a situation where you should be careful what you ask for, because there may be unintended consequences. Assuming your boyfriend is a HS senior, he'd get the support for two months before graduating. If your boyfriend intends to attend a trade or vocational school or college after high school, his parents may not be inclined to provide financial support for him over and above whatever court-ordered support obligation there may be. If he intends to continue his education and will not be residing with either of his parents, he may contact the Child Support Division to establish post-secondary support at no cost to him.

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