In Florida, according to Florida Statutes 61.30 and 61.13, a parent must pay child support for every minor child involved in a divorce proceeding. A parent must also pay child support of the couple separates because one filed a domestic violence injunction against the other. There is a huge “but” to this rule – the courts have discretion to accept an agreement between the parties. While the agreement cannot “waive” child support, it can provide an equitable substitution for child support.
Some parents prefer to share equal custody. If both parents make close to the same amount of money, a Florida court will most likely accept a deviation from the child support guidelines if each parent has the minor children 50 percent of the time. While this is at the discretion of the court, it generally will not deny the parties’ wishes if the arrangement is fair and in the best interests of the minor children. Fifty/fifty custody works especially well if the parents live close to each other – preferably in the same school district.
Sometimes, the primary custodial parent has a much higher salary than the secondary custodial parent. To help the other parent, the primary custodial parent may agree to forego child support. If such an arrangement is made, you must be able to show the court that you can provide for the minor children on your own, without help from the other parent.
Lump Sum Payments
The court does not generally accept lump sum child support payments, as it is too easy for a lump sum of money to be spent sooner than it was meant to be spent. Since this is not in the best interest of the minor children, this type of agreement is usually denied. It may be accepted under certain circumstances, but it is wholly at the discretion of the court.
No matter which type of agreement you have, it must be drawn up and signed by both parties. You must also file a motion to deviate from child support guidelines with the court, according to Florida Statutes 61.30. The motion must state the child support agreement and the reason why you wish to deviate from the guidelines. You may be asked to show proof that one parent can provide for the minor children without collecting child support.
Also, in most cases that there is some type of agreement for one party not to pay support, the court will require you to pay support of $1 per month. This leaves the way open so that if either parent needs to modify the agreement, it can happen. Because of this, child support can be “diverted,” but it cannot be waived.