Child support is an integral part of the legal proceedings undertaken in a divorce.
State laws say that parents have a legal duty to support their children regardless of whether the parents are together or divorced.
There are many moms out there that don’t want the father to seek custody and/or visitation. Or, what about when a dad asks the mom to not seek child support in consideration of his not seeking custody or visitation? Then there’s the case of a mother who is afraid the father will not pay spousal support if she asks for child support.
Is it okay to waive child support?
According to Family Code Section 4001, “Whenever the support of a minor child is at issue, the court may order either one or both parents to pay any amount necessary for the child’s support.” A minor child is one under 18 years or age.
Family Code Section 3901(a) states, “Support will continue until the child graduates from high school or reaches the age of 19 – whichever comes first.”
In summary, parents are not allowed to make agreements that waive child support. If a parent violates the California Family Code and it’s brought to the court’s attention, this conduct could hurt a parent. This would be an example of the parent not acting in the best interests of the child.
What about the children who are born to a couple who are not married? In this instance, there are two types of fathers, a presumed father and a non-presumed father that come into play. In such instances, the mother or father must file a parentage action under the Uniform Parentage Act, per Family Code Section 7600-7730.
When the couple is unmarried, the mother can file a parentage action in order to seek child support and the father can file if he wishes to seek custody and/or visitation.
While the parties can make any agreements, they must always keep in mind that such agreements could be brought to the court’s attention and possibly jeopardize their rights in custody issues.
If you have any questions regarding child support or any other family law issues, don’t hesitate to contact the Orange County family law offices of Amy M. Montes. We understand how upsetting and frustrating these situations can be, and we’re ready to help you.