While some Florida divorces are decided by courts, most are decided by the spouses themselves — typically after extensive negotiation. If you and your spouse are in the process of discussing dividing your marital property and your child custody duties, can you also make agreements on child support?
For example, can one spouse waive child support in exchange for something else?
Can I waive child support to help us agree?
In Florida, like many states, child support specifically exists for the interest and benefit of the child or children. Child support calculations are typically done by courts who make calculations based on many factors, including the child’s specific needs and the parents’ income and custody arrangements.
The need for child support stems from the parent’s legal responsibility to help raise their child.
In other words, no, you may not horse-trade child support away from one parent in exchange for something else. This is because child support is not either parent’s right to waive. It is the responsibility of each parent.
What are my options for child support?
The family law court determines child support amounts, and the judge will apply Florida law in their calculations.
You may agree on child support amount above the minimum. If your solution complies with Florida law, and a judge determines it is in the best interest of the child, then the court may allow it.
It is often beneficial for many families when the parties agree to a divorce settlement, but there is a difference between an agreement and an enforceable contract.