Why you should not waive child support

I have had many clients tell me – “I don’t need (other parent’s) money, so I don’t want child support.”  There is a drive to be independent and not rely on the ex.  In cases where a parent is not exercising visitation, it may be perceived as an incentive to have them have a relationship with the child, or to stay out of the child’s life.  It may simply be a reality – the parent receiving support is financially well off.  Whatever the rationale, the bottom line is it is not a parent’s decision to waive support.

Child support belongs to the child. 

Let me say that again, CHILD SUPPORT BELONGS TO THE CHILD.

That means, even if a parent does not want the money from the other, they do not have the right to waive child support.  Child support should be calculated in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines and determine what each parent is to contribute towards the cost of raising the child.  Whatever the amount is, should be paid. 

Parents may negotiate an agreement where they share costs and expenses related to their child, and therefore there may not be a regular payment.  There may also be situations where the calculated support is nominal – maybe a couple of dollars a week – and the costs related to the payment may exceed the amount that is received.  Under these circumstances, it is not waiving child support.  The person who receives child support on behalf of a child has some discretion as to how to use those funds.  For my clients who say to me that they “do not need(want)” support, I tell them just put it into the child’s savings account.  What child would not like to have money available to them when they are looking to pay for college, purchase a car or start working on their future?  Your child will thank you for it.