In the intricate world of family law, many parents often wonder, “Can parents agree to no child support in Georgia?” The answer is a bit complex – both a yes and a no, depending on the circumstances.
While parents can make agreements between themselves, Georgia law dictates that child support is ultimately a right belonging to the child, and not the parents.
Therefore, even if both parents agree to waive child support (or for a $0 ordered amount), the court has the final say in whether this agreement is in the best interest of the child. And if the court finds it is not, the court can and will order at least some amount of child support, under the Georgia Child Support Guidelines.
Can You Stop Child Support If Both Parents Agree in Georgia?
Understanding the law around child support is critical, particularly in cases where both parents agree to stop child support in Georgia.
It’s important to note that the primary consideration of the court is the welfare of the child. As such, agreements between parents do not necessarily override the obligation to provide financial support for a child.
The court assesses several factors when determining child support, including the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and the living arrangements.
Even if both parents agree on stopping child support, the court will review these factors to ensure the child’s needs are met. In other words, an agreement between parents doesn’t guarantee the court will stop the child support order.
In fact, the parent who was originally ordered to pay child support will continue to be legally obligated to pay, even if the other parent is not actively collecting, unless or until a new court order is entered, stating the parent does not have to pay anything.
Do not just agree to stop collecting child support – it does not work without a court order. When in doubt, contact an attorney who can walk you through the steps to get the outcome you desire, legally.
The Child’s Best Interest
Georgia law is clear that the child’s best interest is paramount in any decision involving child support.
The court will consider whether the child’s standard of living could be maintained without the support and whether the custodial parent can adequately provide for the child’s needs independently.
If the court determines that waiving child support would negatively impact the child’s wellbeing, it will likely deny the parents’ agreement to no child support.
One of the most contentious aspects of family law involves child custody and support.
Courts must determine which parent will be awarded physical and legal custody of a child, how visitation rights are arranged, and how much child support the non-custodial parent must provide.
Legal Consultation is Key
In navigating the complexities of child support laws in Georgia, legal advice is critical.
A knowledgeable family law attorney can help parents understand their rights and obligations, as well as the potential consequences of their decisions. They can also provide guidance on the likelihood of a court accepting an agreement to waive child support.
We always recommend that before you act, talk to a lawyer. It will save you a lot of potential time and heartache in the long run, even if it does come with an upfront cost – that cost is usually way worth it.
While parents may agree to no child support in Georgia, this agreement alone does not determine the final outcome.
The court’s primary concern is always the best interest of the child.
Therefore, it is essential for parents considering this route to seek legal advice to fully understand the implications.
Remember, laws vary by state and individual circumstances, so this blog post should not be taken as legal advice. Always consult with a local family law attorney for guidance related to your specific situation.