CAN WE AGREE OUTSIDE OF COURT THAT I DON’T HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT?
The short answer is no.
If there is a child support order in place that says you owe child support, any unpaid child support payments accrue or build up over time. You will be responsible for the amount that builds up.
Parties cannot modify a child support order by agreement outside of court. Any changes to a child support order must be accompanied by a new court order.
Child support is the right of the child, not the parent. Child support is not owed to the parent, it is owed to the child. What that means is that a parent cannot waive any child support obligation that is due to the child. However, during a divorce or child support modification, the parties can agree, and the court can find, that no payments are owed if it is in the best interests of the child.
What does all of this mean?
If you and your ex are on good terms and you both agree that you don’t have to pay any child support, no one is going to come to your house and immediately throw you in jail. The problem is:
- What if your child’s mother gets mad at you later, or
- They later need the money, or
- What if you want to file a modification of child custody
In the first and second cases, your ex will probably contact child support enforcement. Child support enforcement will contact you and set up a court date for contempt of child support. If you can’t come up with enough money to satisfy child support enforcement and the court, you may be found to be in contempt and possibly be facing jail time then.
In the last case, it won’t be good for your custody modification chances if you haven’t been paying child support as originally ordered by the court.
And in all of these cases, the court is going to be made aware that you haven’t been paying child support and you may have a large amount of back child support that will have to be paid even though it started out as an agreement between you and your child’s mother.
BEST ADVICE: pay your child support as ordered by the court.
Child Support – Macon, GA Lawyer
Have child support issues or questions? Call Ashley M. Brodie at (478) 239-2780 (Macon) or (478) 936-9842 (Gray) to learn more about setting, modifying or enforcing child support payments. She represents clients throughout the Macon, Georgia area in all matters related to child support such as enforcing child support or modifying child support.