PHOENIX — Arizona law requires that child support payments generally go through a state system in order for the person making the payments to be credited, but a court ruling says exceptions are permitted in the interest of fairness.

A Court of Appeals ruling says a mother waived part of her claim for past-due payments by cashing checks that the father paid directly to her.

The ruling Thursday in an appeal from a Maricopa County case said denying the father credit for making $18,000 of direct payments to the mother would have provided her with a “windfall.”

The father was behind in his payments but sought a reduction for the amount of the direct payments.

The Court of Appeals said it was fair the father get the relief he requested.

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