Can Parents Agree To No Child Support?

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June 6, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Yes, parents can agree to no child support in certain circumstances. However, the court usually oversees the process and may require valid reasons and agreements regarding childcare expenses before approving such an arrangement.

Child support is typically calculated based on the income of the parents, the child’s needs, and the custody arrangement. While it is possible that the parents can agree on not paying child support, it may not always be in the best interest of the child.

This article will explore when parents can agree to no child support, the process to make such an arrangement legally enforceable, and the potential impact on the child’s well-being.

Can Parents Agree To No Child Support?


Understanding Child Support

What Is Child Support?

Child support is a financial obligation that parents have to provide for their children’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical care, and clothing. It is the court-mandated payment that a non-custodial parent provides to the custodial parent to help support the children.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Child support is a legal obligation, and parents should take it seriously.
  • Child support payments vary from state to state, based on factors like income and custody arrangement.
  • Child support payments are typically calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income.

How Is Child Support Determined?

To determine child support, the court takes several factors into account, including:

  • The income of both parents.
  • The number of children in the family.
  • The custody arrangement (e.g., full custody to one parent or joint custody).
  • The children’s expenses, such as education, daycare, and medical needs.

Based on these factors, the court will use a set of guidelines to calculate the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent is required to pay. It is important to note that child support orders can be modified over time, particularly if there are changes to the parents’ financial circumstances or the children’s needs.

Why Is Child Support Important?

Child support is crucial for the well-being of children, especially those in single-parent households. Here are some reasons why child support matters:

  • It helps to cover basic expenses and necessities, such as food, housing, and healthcare.
  • It enables children to have a certain quality of life, including access to education, extracurricular activities, and other opportunities.
  • It can reduce stress and financial burden on custodial parents, who are often responsible for the majority of child-rearing expenses.
  • Failure to pay child support can have legal consequences, such as wage garnishment, property liens, or even jail time.

Child support is a vital component of family law, and parents should take it seriously. It’s important to understand what child support is, how it is determined, and why it matters. By prioritizing their children’s financial needs, parents can help ensure that their kids have the best possible start in life.

The Legal Perspective

Can Parents Agree To No Child Support Legally?

Child support is an important issue that needs to be addressed during divorce proceedings. However, there may be some instances where parents agree to no child support. Let’s dive into the legal perspective.

Can Parents Agree To No Child Support Legally?

Yes, parents can agree to no child support legally. However, the agreement has to be in writing, and both parties have to sign it voluntarily. It is important to keep in mind that the agreement must also comply with the state’s child support guidelines.

Additionally, the agreement should be reviewed by an attorney to avoid any legal complications in the future.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of No Child Support Agreements?


  • It can save money for both parties
  • It can reduce conflict between parents
  • It can be a mutually agreed-upon decision based on the child’s needs


  • It can be unfair to children, especially if one parent earns significantly more money
  • The child may not receive adequate financial support
  • It can be difficult to modify the agreement in the future if circumstances change

What Factors Can Affect A Court’S Decision?

If the parents do not mutually agree on no child support, the court will have to intervene and make a decision. Several factors can affect the court’s decision, including:

  • The child’s needs, including education, medical expenses, and extracurricular activities
  • Each parent’s income and ability to provide for the child
  • The custody arrangement and visitation schedule
  • Any existing child support agreements or judgments

While parents can agree to no child support, it is essential to consider various factors and seek legal advice to make an informed decision that is in the best interest of the child.

The Emotional Aspect

No Child Support Agreement: The Emotional Aspect

Separation or divorce is typically an unpleasant and painful experience, especially if children are involved. One of the more contentious issues that the parents may have to face is child support payments. In some cases, the parties may agree to waive or forego this financial support, but how does this agreement affect the child and family emotionally?

How Can A No Child Support Agreement Impact The Child And Family Relationships?

  • Family dynamic
  • Without financial support, resentment and bitterness can form between family members.
  • Relationship dynamics can shift, leading to tension and estrangement.
  • The child may also feel like they are a burden on the family and may cause internal conflict.
  • Loss of opportunity
  • No child support can lead to financial difficulties, which can limit the opportunities available for the child, such as extracurricular activities, education, or even the ability to provide for their basic needs.
  • The child may feel like they’re missing out on things their peers are doing.
  • Stability
  • A child needs stability, and a no child support agreement can disrupt that.
  • Seeing their family struggle to make ends meet can cause anxiety and stress in the child, leading to academic and emotional problems.

What Are The Psychological Effects Of Not Receiving Child Support?

  • Reduced self-esteem
  • A child who is aware that their parent chose not to financially support them may take that as a rejection.
  • Self-confidence issues can arise as a result of feeling unimportant or undervalued.
  • Anger and resentment
  • Without financial support, the child may feel abandoned or neglected.
  • The child may start to become bitter towards their parents, feeling like they have been put aside for other priorities.
  • Stress
  • Financial hardship can lead to a stressful environment in the home, which can negatively impact a child’s mental health.
  • Living in poverty can be detrimental to the child’s well-being as they may worry about things that are beyond their control.

Can A No Child Support Agreement Compromise The Child’S Well-Being?

  • Financial insecurity
  • Without receiving child support, the parent with the child may struggle to make ends meet, leading to financial insecurity.
  • The child could be exposed to higher levels of stress and anxiety that can affect their health due to this insecurity.
  • Health issues
  • A lack of child support may make it difficult for the child to access necessary medical treatment.
  • It could lead to the child getting malnourished since the parent may struggle to provide a balanced diet.
  • Emotional woes
  • Living in a financially restrained environment can impact the child emotionally and socially.
  • It may affect their academic performance, willingness to form social bonds and lead to depression.

Foregoing child support can have severe emotional and psychological effects on the child. The impact can range from loss of opportunities, financial insecurity, reduced self-esteem, anger and resentment, stress, and emotional woes. As such, it is essential to be mindful of these potential outcomes when agreeing to a no child support agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions For Can Parents Agree To No Child Support?

Can Parents Legally Agree To No Child Support?

Yes, parents can enter into a written agreement to waive child support, but it is not binding until approved by a judge.

Is It Advisable To Agree To No Child Support?

It depends on individual circumstances. It is important to consider the child’s needs and consult with a family law attorney.

Can A Parent Ask For Child Support After Waiving It?

In most cases, no. Once a judge approves the written agreement to waive child support, it becomes legally binding.

What Factors Affect The Child Support Amount?

Factors include income of both parents, the child’s needs, the cost of health insurance, and the custody arrangement.

Can Child Support Be Modified Later On?

Yes, either parent can petition the court to modify child support if there is a change in circumstance, such as job loss or change in custody.


Child support is an important responsibility for both parents, and it plays a vital role in the upbringing of a child. However, there may be situations where parents agree to waive or limit child support payments. While this may seem like a reasonable decision, it is essential to ensure that the child’s best interests are not compromised.

It is essential to seek legal advice to discuss the child support agreement and make sure it is legal and mutually beneficial. Furthermore, the agreement may need to be reviewed regularly, especially if circumstances change. Remember that parents’ financial contributions are vital to ensure that their children have the best start in life.

Therefore, while child support agreements can be flexible, children’s needs always come first. If you are considering a child support agreement, seek advice from an experienced family lawyer to ensure that you make the best decision for your child.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …