Can child support be waived in Tennessee?
Tennessee Child Support Guidelines are Strictly Enforced
People often ask: Can we agree to no child support? or Can it be waived? Of course nothing in this post can replace the advice of an attorney. (review) But, generally speaking, child support can not be waived, by agreement or otherwise. In Tennessee as well as other states child support is determined by law. The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines must be followed by the Court. The Court is given the ability to deviate (or vary) from the guidelines. But, this is rarely done. Certainly not to the extent of “waiving” support. The court must specifically find that a deviation or variance from the Child Support Guidelines is proper. And that such deviation will still provide adequate support for the child or children.
In Limited Cases the Court May Deviate From the Child Support Guidelines
A case in point: Attorney Jim Purple, represented a client (the mother) in a divorce action. The mother had a relatively low income in comparison to the father. The couple had a teenage child who spent about equal time with each parent, pretty much as she chose, and the parents agreed, but it was in the best interest of the child that the father be the primary residential parent. Attorney Purple was able to negotiate a settlement in which the father was granted primary custody of the child. Our client, the mother agreed to wait on selling the marital home, or otherwise getting her share of the equity, until the child was over eighteen and either married or out of school. This allowed the child to remain in the home she had always known, which was suitable, and the father was financially able to adequately support the child. The court found that child was properly financially supported and that the deviation of no support was proper, in part due to the mother’s temporary waiver of her share of the equity in the marital home.
This is a rare situation, and it illustrates the the type of situation that may allow for a deviation or waiver of the child support obligation.