Can Child Support be Stopped if Both Parents Agree?
June 27, 2019
When parents are divorced or separated, one of them will be granted custody of their child/children. The other will be required to pay child support. This payment is meant to help cover some of the costs of raising the child (such as the cost of food, clothing, health care, educational needs, and more) and to ensure that the child continues to receive the economic benefit of both parents. The amount of child support required depends on the case and is decided by the court. However, there may be a time during which the non-custodial parent cannot afford to make their monthly child support payment.
The Enforcement of Child Support
Child support is court ordered, which means that it’s illegal to stop paying child support payments. If the non-custodial parent has stopped making child support payments, then the custodial parent can seek help from state and federal agencies. The non-custodial parent will then receive a court order requiring the payment of child support. If the non-custodial parent continues to decline paying child support, it can result in several consequences. For example, the court can order their wages to be garnished. This means that the non-custodial parent’s employer will take out a percentage of their paycheck to be sent to a child support agency, which will distribute the money to the custodial parent. Additionally, the state can seize tax refunds, impose liens, and even revoke the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license.
Suspending Child Support Payments
Not paying child support can result in serious consequences. This should come as no surprise since the welfare of a child is considered the top priority when it comes to child support cases. However, this doesn’t mean that the non-custodial parent will suffer the consequences if they can’t pay child support through no fault of their own. For example, the non-custodial parent may lose their job and be unable to make payments because they are currently unemployed.
If this is the case, then the parents can come to an agreement with one another. Both parents will need to agree to either modify or terminate the child support order. This is the easiest course of action, although both parents will need to have an amicable relationship for this to work. If no such relationship exists, the non-custodial parent will need to request approval from the court to stop making the child support payments. They will need to petition the court to modify the child support order. The court will only grant that request if the non-custodial parent can prove the following:
- That their income was reduced through no fault of their own.
- That they became physically incapacitated, thereby making it impossible to work.
- That there was a change in child custody or in the visitation schedule.
- That they experienced an expensive medical emergency.
- That the child’s needs have changed.
- That the child has been emancipated or is no longer a minor.
Even if both parents come to the decision to terminate child support payments, the court must still be petitioned for child support to be legally terminated. In fact, even if the child is no longer a minor or is emancipated, the court must still be petitioned.
If you need to modify or terminate child support as a non-custodial parent, then it’s important that you seek the professional assistance of an attorney to make sure you follow the correct legal process. A professional attorney can also help you with other child support matters, such as if you are supposed to receive child support and the non-custodial parent has declined to pay it. We have experience with child support laws, and know your rights. Contact us today to discuss your concerns related to child custody laws in Toledo, Ohio.