Is Paying Child Support Mandatory In A Divorce?

divorce lawyer Daren NeelQuestion:

My ex-wife has agreed to transfer custody of our child to me so long as she doesn’t have to pay me any child support.

Will this arrangement be accepted or is paying child support mandatory? Would it be fair if we kept the child support out of the courts and she just put in $50 a month into a bank account for our child?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Kentucky divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

First, there is no requirement in my state that an individual pay child support. If you do not want to proceed with seeking child support, you are not required to do so.

However, if the matter is in the court system, a court would be required to order child support. Parties are generally free to come to their own agreements, but if the matter is in front of a court, the court is required to order child support.

Second, with regard to whether it is “fair” that she put $50 per month into a bank account would be up to you. Pursuant to the my state’s Child Support Guidelines, there are minimum child support requirements that are based on the gross income of the parties.

Divorce Resource:

Child Support Calculators

Third, if you are currently ordered to pay child support to your ex-wife, you will need to file a motion with the court and have your child support requirement stopped. Otherwise, even if you have physical possession of the child and sole custody, your child support obligation can continue to accrue.

Child support is only modifiable prospectively and it requires an affirmative act on the part of the payor to modify the order. This means that child support can only be modified from the day a motion to modify is filed. It will not be retroactive to the date you start having your child full time.

Finally, I have some concerns about your ex-wife just giving you custody. If there are any court orders in place granting the mother custody or ordering child support, I would recommend that you look into modifying the order with the court so this change is on record.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Louisville Divorce Lawyer Daren C. Neel, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Is Paying Child Support Mandatory In A Divorce?

    child support
    I am in Ohio, my ex wife and I had joint custody and came up with a visit plan that did not require child support. When the judge looked at the plan it actually showed I had 5 more hours a week and he wanted to grant me child support. I had to stand up and oath out to the court that it was not needed.

    Personally I got off lucky, now several years later she is angry at me again and wants support so we are off to the races again. Be careful on this and get her to put things in writing with a witness and get things notarized, while I am not a lawyer, cover your butt.

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