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Can Child Support Be Waived if Both Parents Agree?

On Behalf of | | Family Law

When a case that involves child custody, such as divorce, legal separation, or paternity proceedings, concludes, a child support order will always be involved. Child support amounts are dependent on specific factors that courts determine by using a guideline calculator. These days, using mediation or other alternative dispute resolution options is becoming increasingly popular for parents who want to settle all their child-related issues as quickly as possible and out of court. 

In some cases, parents agree on their child-related issues and want a no-child-support agreement. Unfortunately, child support cannot simply be waived, even if both parents agree that support payments are not needed. It’s crucial to note that courts generally frown upon waiving child support payments, regardless of how financially stable the custodial parent or both parents are. In addition, courts do not usually enforce clauses waiving child support in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.

Why You Cannot Simply Waive Child Support Payments

Child support payments are paid to the custodial parent by the noncustodial parent to support their child financially. Judges look to the South Carolina child support guidelines and take into account both parent’s incomes when deciding on the support amount. They also consider childcare costs, the number of children requiring support, health insurance, and alimony, among many others.

Children depend on their parents for almost anything, especially financially, until they grow older and become adults. Although child custody agreements usually order one parent (the noncustodial parent) to pay support, both parents are still financially responsible for their child’s care. Child support payments are intended to be used for childcare costs, such as food, shelter, education, clothing, etc. Child support is a child’s legal right, which means that you don’t have the power to waive it.

Put simply, you cannot just waive child support in SC because doing so isn’t in your child’s best interest. Judges will ultimately decide child support orders because their duty is to ensure that the child’s best interest is a top priority. In the eyes of the law, deciding to waive child support payments equals waiving your child’s right and best interest. This also means that even if you and your co-parent agree on a specific child support amount, the judge will still need to review and approve your agreement.

In addition, child support payments continue until your child turns 18 and graduates high school or upon the conclusion of the school year your child turns 19. Depending on the specific circumstances, child support must continue, such as in cases where the child has extraordinary medical expenses or is disabled. Lastly, noncustodial parents cannot simply stop paying support. They must file a petition to modify or terminate the child support order, and a judge must approve it.

Consult With Our Seasoned Charleston Child Support Lawyers Today

At Query Sautter & Associates, LLC, our Charleston child support lawyers have extensive experience drafting child support and other child-related agreements that will ensure your child’s best interest. Call 843-795-9500 or complete our online form for a case evaluation with our Charleston child support lawyers.