US Government Information/child benefits

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Question
QUESTION: My childs  mother  has been the representative payee of my child she has physical custody for 9 months but I have it for the summer 3 months. Should those payments go to her or me in the summer? She has been getting them all year for many years.  Is that legal?HE spends only 19 days/overnites with her out of 90 days/overnites  during the whole summer

ANSWER: Social Security pays the benefit to the custodial parent normally determined by where the child goes to school.  This is something that you need to work out with your ex-wife.  You could try to file to have the payee changed to you during the summer months, but this would no doubt cause a problem with your ex-wife.  Also if the Social Security is from your work record and if it was considered when determining child support, making this change could cause a problem with the Child Enforcement Agency.

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QUESTION: The couple was never married. There was a court order with shared parental and custodial rights defined. The parenting time states the father shall have the child in the summer months. The father does pay child support during the summer. Does the absence of a marriage change the Social Security status?

Answer
No Social Security does not look at anything other than who has physical custody.  It is possible to have the payee changed when the child is in the physical custody of the father, unless it will cause the mother a problem maintaining a home for the child to return to when summer is over.  This could be possible if she is using the child's benefits to help pay household expenses.

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Darlene Oldendick

Expertise

Social Security retirement planning and all questions about Social Security eligibility and entitlement.

Experience

Worked for the Social Security Administration for 33 years

Publications
http://www.socialsecurityadviceonline.com

Education/Credentials
33 years employment with the Social Security Administration

Awards and Honors
Many outstanding performance awards while employed at the Social Security Administration

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