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Waiver of Child Support
As discussed in our section of articles specifically addressing child support in Georgia, child support is a right that belongs to the minor child or children involved in the matter. Thus, child support cannot be legally waived by the custodial parent on behalf of the minor child or children. Bisher v. Jones, 267 Ga.App. 389 (2004).
Practice Pointer - Waiving a Modification of Child Support
Although a parent may not waive the right to child support, the parent obligated to pay child support may agree to waive the right to seek a downward modification, or reduction, in the amount of child support to be paid to the custodial parent. Forrester v. Buerger, 241 Ga. 34 (1978).
Waiver of the Right to Seek a Reduction of Child Support
In order to effectively waive the right to seek a future downward modification in his or her child support obligation, a non-custodial parent must expressly waive this right “in very clear waiver language which refers to the right of modification.” See Beard v. Beard, 250 Ga. 449 (1983). What this means is that the agreement signed by the obligated parent, in which he or she agrees to waive the right to seek a future downward modification of child support, must clearly state the intent of the obligated party to waive this right. Even though Georgia law does not require any special or “magic” words to be placed in the agreement to affect this waiver, the provision must be clear and unambiguous. See Varn v. Varn, 242 Ga. 309 (1987). An example provision of a waiver of the right to a future reduction in child support is outlined below:
The obligated party hereby waives her statutory right to future downward modification, of the child support payments provided for herein, based on a change in the income or financial status of said party.
If you are currently a party to a divorce action, and are considering entering into a settlement agreement concerning alimony or child support, ensure that you are adequate representation by a qualified Georgia attorney who specializes in child support and alimony to ensure that you do not waive your right to seek a future modification of child support should one be necessary.