Can Both Parents Opt-Out of Child Support?
Few things in life can be more stressful than a divorce. In addition to dividing assets, debts, and personal property, as well as establishing a custodial schedule, child support is often one of the key issues that will arise. But that doesn’t always have to be the case.
In Pennsylvania, child support is a fixed monthly payment made by one parent to the other. The monthly amount is determined using statutory guidelines, and is based on the parties’ respective incomes as well as the amount of custodial time spent at each parent’s home. This support payment is intended for the child’s benefit and goes towards their needs like food, housing, clothing, medical care, and educational expenses.
But, what happens in cases where both parents are able to adequately meet the child’s needs without contribution from the other? What happens when child support is unnecessary? In these cases, can both parties opt-out of pursuing child support? In short, yes.
In Pennsylvania, parties to a divorce action can enter into an agreement whereby, among other things, each warrants not to pursue an action in child support. Alternatively, parties may agree on a set monthly amount to be paid and agree not to seek modification of that amount for a set duration, or, indefinitely. While some states will require financial records from both parties to demonstrate that they can support a child without child support, Pennsylvania imposes no such burden.
Even so, an agreement between spouses to waive a claim for child support is always modifiable in Pennsylvania. Circumstances change, and should such a change in circumstance compromise one parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, Pennsylvania legislation has cleared the way for that parent to seek support on behalf of the minor children, prior agreements aside. For that reason, you should work with an attorney to include terms and conditions in your Property Settlement Agreement that would only spring into place in the event that either party files for support despite their prior agreement not to do so.
Get in touch with an experienced child support attorney at LaMonaca Law today!
Child support laws can be complicated and involve multiple steps. At LaMonaca Law, our dedicated team of attorneys can provide you with the guidance and representation required to navigate these processes, including child support enforcement and modification.
Call us 610-892-3877, today for a consultation!