Can I Waive Child Support?

Q. I want to drop all child support from my ex-wife. How is the best way to do it and what do I need to do? We both don’t make very much and want to work together. I don’t want her to be prosecuted because of this. I need to know what to do.

A. It is difficult to answer your inquiry as it is unclear whether you are seeking to waive current or past support and whether or not the state is involved with your case. I will go over all three scenarios.

CURRENT NON IV-D

Arizona requires that parents support their children. In situations where child support has been established, a child support worksheet must be submitted. The actual order should match the figure that was calculated through the worksheet. Parents may request a deviation from the amount that is calculated through the worksheet if there is a basis for the deviation. If there is a large figure for child support, the deviation will have to be for a reason that offsets or negates at least a large portion of that amount, or your deviation would likely be rejected.

For example: If the child support order is $400 and the parties are requesting a deviation to 0. They will need to provide a basis that would be similar in values.

“The parties are requesting a deviation to 0 as Father will pay the children’s tuition.”

“The parties are requesting a deviation as Father will pay the after-school care (if not factored in the worksheet).”

It ultimately is up to the Court, but if there is a valid and reasonable basis for the requested deviation, the Court can and likely will allow it.

CURRENT (IV-D)

If the state has an interest in your case you will have to get the state’s approval to deviate. If the state has a monetary interest in your case they would have to approve the deviation. You will know if the state has an interest because you will be in IV-D court with a commissioner rather than a judge. The attorney general’s office will also be involved with your case and will have a representative at your hearing.

PAST SUPPORT (NON-IVD)

If the state is not involved with your case, i.e. neither party has received government assistance such as food stamps, AHCCCS insurance, or cash assistance, the Court will allow you to waive back support. It can be done in an agreement that is signed by both parties. It will need to be sent to the Arizona Child Support Clearinghouse so that the account can be closed.

PAST SUPPORT (IV-D)

If the state has an interest in your case, you will have to get the state’s approval to waive past due support. If the state has a monetary interest in your case, they will need to be paid whatever they are owed prior to the parent getting to waive the remaining balance. Any agreements have to be approved and signed by the state, so do NOT make any agreements without talking to the state first.

There are horror stories where clients will pay large lump sums of money in exchange for forgiving a portion of the debt and then the state does not approve the agreement. If this happens the Court will likely give the individual credit for the lump sum against the balance but the remaining balance will still have full force and effect. ALWAYS check with the state prior to entering agreements with payments.

The policy in Arizona is that parents pay for and support their children. The state has an interest in making sure that child support is paid and that any funds that are expended by the state to support children are paid back by the non-residential/custodial parent.

If the state is requesting incarceration, you may not have a say in it. It does not benefit the state to incarcerate because the other party would not be able to make money unless released for work only. It is normally individual parties that request incarceration as a means to motivate compliance. If you do not request incarceration it is not likely to happen unless the state is owed a large debt.

I hope this answers your question. If you need additional assistance please make sure to contact us.