I was presented with the following question:  “My daughter is going to college before turning 18. How do I change the child support order so money goes directly to her?”

My initial response to this question is that under no circumstances should this individual stop paying child support to his/her ex.  This would be a big mistake because the courts have very little patience for parents that violate child support orders, and routinely hold them in contempt for failure to pay court-ordered support.

Second, in NC this person can file a motion with the court to terminate child support due to a change in circumstances.  If a child is emancipated prior to when they turn 18, then the supporting parent has grounds to terminate the support order.  Since the questioners daughter has left for college, then she is no longer under the control of her parents, and could be seen as emancipated.

If and when the support order is vacated, the questioner could stop making payments to the ex, and start making payments to their daughter.