If we agree to no child support, will the court still impose it?

Question:Cordell & Cordell attorney Andrea Miller

I’m getting an uncontested divorce. I will have sole custody of our child. Do we have to file an order for child support if I don’t need child support from my ex-wife?

She will not be able to make the payments and it will put an undue burden on her. How do I make sure she won’t have to pay child support?


Unfortunately, I am only licensed to practice law in North Carolina and therefore my analysis of your question will focus on North Carolina law only.  Please contact an attorney in Washington who can answer your question using Washington law.

In North Carolina, both parents have a duty and obligation to provide support to their children.  However, until one party files an action wanting someone to pay child support, the court does not usually interfere.  In your situation, until you file something with the court, your ex-wife will not have to pay child support.  In North Carolina, it is only after someone demands child support that the issue is brought before the court.  Therefore, if you do not want to pursue child support then your best course of action is to not file anything.

As stated above, I am not licensed to practice law in Washington state and therefore you need to contact an attorney licensed in Washington.  Please be advised that answering this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


Andrea Miller is a Staff Attorney in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Miller is licensed in the state of North Carolina. Ms. Miller received her undergraduate degree in History and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While in law school, she on the Client Counseling Team for Moot Court and became a board member. Ms. Miller also participated in UNC’s Legal Assistance Clinic whereby she helped represent indigent clients obtain legal counsel primarily in the area of domestic relations.

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