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Can I Avoid Paying Child Support?

The simple answer is no, you cannot avoid financially supporting your

children. While most parents want to support their children financially, it is

often a big point of contention that they will be paying child support to their

soon to be ex-spouse who will use the monies in any manner they see fit. This

means that they can use the money towards a mortgage payment or rent, they

can use it towards food for the house, and they can use it towards clothing for

the children. Further, the parent receiving child support does not need to

provide an accounting to the parent paying child support for how the monies

are being used.

As of March 1, 2024, the combined income cap under the Child Support

Standards Act was increased to $183,000. However, in cases where the

parents are making an income in excess of $183,000, the Courts have the

authority to base child support off of a higher combined income. That is

determined on a case-by-case basis. This increase in the cap has lead to an

increase in parents asking if they give up any and all rights to their child or

children, whether their child support obligation would go away. The answer to

this is no. Even if you do not wish to have a relationship with your children,

you are still obligated to financially support them. The only exception is when

one parent waives any and all right to receive child support, which is such a

rarity that it almost never happens. If the matter were to proceed through the

Courts, the Court will always provide for child support.

The custodial parent (the parent the children are primarily living with or the

parent deemed to be the custodial parent for purposes of child support), will

receive child support from the non-custodial parent. This is true even if the

children are residing with the monied spouse. As the non-monied spouse, you

still have an obligation to contribute to the financial support of your children.

In some cases, if the non-monied spouse is receiving spousal maintenance, we

can off-set the obligation for child support so that the non-monied spouse

receives a reduced spousal maintenance payment until such time as they stop

receiving spousal maintenance and child support is recalculated.

Another question I am often asked is whether child support will still be paid if

the children are splitting their time 50% with one parent and 50% with the

other parent. The general answer to this is yes, the parent who is the custodial

parent, will still receive child support from the non-custodial parent. There

have been exceptions in the past where the parents, who make the same salary

and who have a 50/50 custody arrangement, have waived child support and

each were fully responsible for the support of the children when they are with

them, and add-ons (unreimbursed medical, college, extracurricular activities,

etc) were shared between the parties on a 50/50 basis.

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