How to Waive Child Support in a Divorce Agreement
By Mary Jane Freeman
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Both parents are financially responsible for their children under the law. This obligation doesn't go away simply because they may divorce, even if one spouse agrees to take on the financial burden alone. Any divorce agreement in which a parent waives the right to child support is not likely to be upheld in court, regardless of the state the family lives in.
Divorce Agreement Resolves Marital Issues
A divorce agreement, also known as a settlement or separation agreement, is where spouses outline the mutually agreed-upon terms of their divorce. Typically, these involve marital issues, such as property distribution, alimony and child custody. Although state laws differ, courts routinely approve settlement agreements and incorporate their terms into the final divorce decree, provided the terms are reasonable.
Waiving Child Support Not Allowed
Although spouses are generally free to address child support in a divorce agreement, any attempt to waive child support is usually prohibited. This is because parents have a duty to support their children, and child support is for the benefit of the child. As such, parents can't waive this support on the child's behalf. Also, child support is typically determined by state law, with many states having established child support guidelines.
- Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute: Marital Settlement Agreement
- Krueger and Hernandez: Wisconsin Divorce and Family Law - Can I Waive Child Support?
- Law Office of Linda Garrett: Can Parents Make Agreements to Waive Support?
- Purple Law Firm: Can Child Support Be Waived?
- National Conference of State Legislatures: Child Support Guideline Models by State
Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.