Can You Waive Child Support for More Custody?

Many parents wonder if they can simply waive child support and request full custody to smooth things over with their co-parent. As with many family law questions, the answer is a little complex. And because your child is involved, you may want to take some time to consult with an attorney.

Child Support Is Calculated Based on Custody and Income

It's understandable that many think they can give up child support entirely so that they can get full custody. After all, child support is calculated based on the amount of time a child spends with each parent. But child support isn't what determines custody; it's the other way around. Custody is what determines child support. 

Thus, if the other parent doesn't want any custody, you're more likely to get child support, because you're the one taking care of the child full-time. The question is really whether you can negotiate to have full custody in exchange for not requesting any child support.

Child Support Is for the Child

A major misconception is that child support is for the custodial parent, and it's often used to reimburse them for their expenses. However, child support is a right of the child. Thus, a parent really can't waive or get rid of child support on their own, especially if the other parent wants partial custody. 

A family judge will usually determine how much child support is fair, even if one parent doesn't want to be paid child support and would rather just move on with their lives. This is different if both parents have come to an agreement with each other. It's sometimes difficult for a parent to get child support waived, even if they no longer want it

There Are Ways to Avoid Child Support

If you and your co-parent no longer want the co-parent to be involved in your child's life, either in terms of child support or custody, there is a solution. You can transfer parental rights to another person. Parental rights can't be extinguished without the agreement of both parents.

Often, having someone else take parental rights and adopt the child is the easiest way to make sure that you have full custody. And, of course, it will also affect any new child support measures, because the child is no longer legally recorded as your ex-spouse's child. 

When it comes to divorces, separations, and child support, the person who has a lawyer is usually the one who gets what they want. Connecting with a family law attorney will give you more information.