At this point we need to clarify the proper way to distribute ma’aser-tithing funds. The main use of ma’aser monies should be for charity to the poor. Poor relatives have precedence over others. One may even use his ma’aser money for his own older children, once they are above the age that one is technically obligated to support them. Because they do not have their own money, whatever is given them is considered full-fledged tzedakah. Even if the person has another source of funding which he could use for his children, he is permitted to support them from ma’aser money.
One should not use ma’aser money to support his parents, because the Sages said, “Let a curse come upon a person who supports his parents from tzedakah money.” But if the person himself is poor and does not have money of his own to support them, he may use ma’aser money for that purpose.