When you decide to get a divorce, you need to make a number of other decisions that go along with the process. One of the most important issues you need to discuss is child support and custody. Every parent is obligated to care for their child – and that includes physically, mentally and financially. The question becomes whether one parent can waive their financial obligations toward their child upon divorce.
California Law Regarding Child Support Waivers
California Family Code states that parents who divorce must contribute to their children’s support if they are under the age of 18 or an adult under the age of 19 who is still in high school and not self-supporting. The court has discretion to order one or both parents to financially contribute to their children’s well-being in the form of child support.
The specific amount of child support that the court will order depends on various factors, such as:
- Age of the child
- The financial situation of the parent ordered to pay child support
- Cost of caring for the child
- Child’s specific or special needs
Under this California law, parents are not allowed to make an agreement to waive child support. Children depend on their parents to care for them until they become adults. Since this support requires money, the parents cannot waive the right to pay child support. In other words, if a parent decides to waive child support, they are in essence waiving the care and best interests of their child.
Options for Child Support
Even though parents cannot make an agreement to waive child support, they can still agree to a lower amount based on their situation or use the California guideline amounts that help guide child support agreements. Courts will often order parents to pay the baseline amount if either parent does not make a request for higher or lower child support.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding, planning to file for divorce, or are dealing specifically dealing with child support issues, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley family law attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or (559) 314-2796, or complete our online form.