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.

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.

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Divorce Settlement & Separation Agreements With Children
 

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Military Guidelines for Paying Child Support

Child support guidelines vary among states -- and these laws apply to members of the military, who must divorce in civilian courts and according to civilian laws. When military spouses divorce, the civilian divorce court issues a child support award to provide financial support for their children. For military parents, child support calculations and awards can be complicated because special rules apply. For example, military parents receive several types of allowances that a civilian court may or may not consider as income when establishing a child support amount.

Joint Legal Custody Agreement

During a divorce, couples with minor children must resolve child custody issues, including legal custody and physical custody of each child. Parents who agree to share joint legal custody of a child often outline their shared responsibilities in a joint legal custody agreement. Although a joint legal custody agreement refers specifically to legal custody, it is possible to address both legal and physical custody in a single document. If you want to address both issues, you can still title the agreement "joint legal custody agreement" or change it to a “joint child custody agreement.”

How to File a Motion for Claiming Dependants After Divorce

If your divorce agreement does not say anything about who gets to claim the children as dependents, then typically the custodial parent gets to do this pursuant to federal tax law. However, some divorce agreements allow a noncustodial parent to claim the children as long as he is current in his child support. If the custodial parent interferes with this right, you can file a motion with the court so that a judge will force your ex to allow you to claim your children as dependents. Filing a motion is relatively simple.

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