What is child support?
Child support is money paid by the non-residential parent to the residential parent to assist in the financial upbringing and support of a dependent child. Child support cannot be waived by the receiving parent since it is the child's, and not the parent's, entitlement, even though the parent or a responsible adult actually receives the funds. Under certain circumstances, however, the matter of child support can be reserved (postponed) for further determination by the Court. Child support can also be modified upward or downward from the guidelines set forth by statute upon justification for such deviation from guidelines.
Can child support be waived?
Even when the parties privately agree as to the amount of support to be paid, an Order for Support must be entered by the Court, and the amount must be found either in accordance with guidelines, or a basis set forth for deviation from those guidelines. By law, (unless other arrangements are made and ordered by the Court,) child support is deducted from the paying parent's wages and sent by the employer to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Self employed individuals are deemed to be their own employers and are responsible for sending payments directly to the SDU. The SDU sends funds to the recipient parent and is responsible for keeping accurate records of all payments. Calculation of child support can be complicated, depending upon certain financial factors and the method of calculation employed. Therefore, it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney to calculate support and prepare and present the necessary request and Order for child support.