My ex-wife and I mutually agreed to change custody of our child and he now lives with me so I am the custodial parent. However, I still have child support deducted out of my paychecks and sent to her because we have not officially made this change with the court.
I would like the court to recognize our new custodial arrangement and the fact that I waive my right to needing child support from her.
What kind of legal documents to I have to give the court to have them recognize this and does an attorney need to be involved if we have a mutual agreement?
Parties may alter their child custody and child support arrangements with the court by filing a signed agreement with the court.
If you and your ex have agreed to modify custody so that you will be the custodial parent and she will be the non-custodial parent, you can file an agreement with the court that states your agreement for change in custody.
Similarly, for child support, you can file an agreement with the court stating that you both agree to modify child support based on your change in custody. The court may have reservations in approving an agreement where you essentially waive child support, so I would advise that you state your reasons for doing so, i.e. your ex has a limited income and provides support in other ways.
I understand the desire to avoid attorneys' fees when you both are agreeable, but if you start struggling with the correct specific language of the agreement, you should consider consulting an attorney for assistance in that matter.
If you both continue to be agreeable, the attorney's costs would be minimal, and an attorney would make sure you are advised as to what you are entitled to under the law with regards to child support from your ex.
Once you have an agreement with the court, you must show a substantial and continuing change in circumstances to alter that agreement (if your ex does not agree to alter it), so filing the agreement with the court is a significant move.
Once you have filed your agreement with the court, and it has been approved (file-stamped by the court and signed by the judge), contact the Child Support Division for your court to find out what steps you may need to take to terminate your Income Withholding Order (the order from the court that allows your child support to be taken out of your paycheck).
Cordell & Cordell has divorce attorneys located nationwide.
Leslie Lorenzano is a Staff Attorney in the Indianapolis, Indiana office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Lorenzano is licensed in the state of Indiana and the U.S. District Court Sothern District of Indiana. Ms. Lorenzano received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Purdue University, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona – James E. Rogers College of Law.