My teenage daughter is choosing to live with my ex spouse, since she bears no responsibilities in that living environment. In our upcoming divorce, can he be named payee of her benefits? Who would make that determination? Could a case be made for my continuing as payee given his demonstrated disastrous financial choices?
SSA makes the decision on who to appoint as Rep Payee. Sure, your ex-spouse can try to be appointed as Rep Payee and SSA may or may not agree to appoint him. Usually the custodial parent will be appointed as the Rep Payee. If daughter is going to be living with your ex, then there is a good chance that he would be appointed unless they do find that he has had problems handling financial matters. I'm assuming, perhaps wrongly, that this is one subject that is involved with the divorce litigation. SSA, as a federal agency, will not care what the State Court recommends on this issue but will take note of any custody decision issued by the court. Do keep in mind that the money belongs to your daughter, not to either parent, and whoever is Rep Payee is obligated to account for and periodically report their actions as Rep Payee to Social Security. Here is a link to more information about the Rep Payee process: http://www.ssa.gov/payee/
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Yes. Social Security will pay auxiliary children's benefits to the parent/guardian with whom the child lives. If custody, child support and other child-related issues are still being decided in your upcoming divorce, Social Security will likely defer to the decision the Family Court Judge.
This is general information only. I am not providing you with legal advice. To hire an attorney, contact your state or local bar association for a referral to an attorney in your area.
Representative payees for children are usually assigned to the custodial parent. The benefits belong to the child so if your ex-spouse is the RP, he has to spend the money on her behalf for her own benefit such as food, clothes, and shelter. Being an RP is a duty and he has to keep records and report how he spends the money. If he fails to meet his responsibilities, SSA could assign someone else to be the representative payee.
Answers and comments provided are for general discussion only. They are not to be considered legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.
The divorce decree does not control who is rep payee. As stated by Mr. Davis, SSA determines the payee and it is usually the custodial parent due to the logistical nightmare involved otherwise.
The information provided here is meant to be general in nature and not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship.
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