How to Waive Child Support in a Divorce Agreement

By Mary Jane Freeman

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.

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.

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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.

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What Papers Do You Need to Get a Divorce?

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How to Amend a Child Custody Decree

To amend a child custody decree, parents will generally need to petition the court that entered the initial order. The exact procedures for amending child custody orders vary from state to state, but typically involve preparing a written order, filing it with the court and attending a hearing on the merits of the changes. Until the judge approves the amended order, the old custody agreement will remain in effect.

Child Custody & Visitation Laws for Missouri

Missouri law favors joint custody of children when parents separate, so that children have "frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents." State law encourages parents to cooperate with each other in raising their children and requires divorcing parents to create a parenting plan as a part of their divorce. If the court determines the best interests of the children are not served by being with the parents, third party custody can be ordered, which might mean, for example, placing the children with grandparents.

Divorce Settlement & Separation Agreements With Children

Children often benefit when their parents can divorce amicably by using a settlement agreement instead of allowing a court to decide on divorce terms like child custody. Parents also benefit because they are able to customize arrangements that work well for both parents without forcing the court to make decisions for them -- decisions they may not like.

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