If you are obligated to pay child support and have reached an agreement with the parent receiving support to stop enforcement of the monthly payments, it is important that you obtain legal assistance to make sure the proper paperwork is filed. I was prompted to write this post after witnessing the aftermath of several clients’ botched attempts at “non-enforcement” of their child support obligations. There is a significant difference between “non-enforcement” of child support and “satisfaction” of child support. I think the difference between child support satisfaction and non-enforcement is often confused.
Non-Enforcement of Child Support
If the recipient of your child support agrees to simply stop enforcing (aka stop collecting) support payments, that does NOT mean
those payments are no longer due and owing, or gathering interest. If requested, the Division of Child Support may stop collecting child support and place a “file credit” on your account, but at anytime down the road if the child support recipient decides they want to receive those monthly payments again, all they have to do is request enforcement again, and then all of those payments you did not make will come back as an arrearage that you will have to pay in addition to your regular support payment. You have the right to request a hearing on the arrearage amount, but telling a judge, “he/she agreed I did not have to make those payments” will get you nowhere.
Child Support Satisfaction
If the recipient of your child support really does not want to receive support anymore, you need to modify the child support Judgment to remove future obligations and have a Judge sign off, and file a signed and notarized Satisfaction of any prior child support owed. If you want to avoid a lot of headaches (and child support arrearage) in the future, talk to an attorney now to make sure this process is completed correctly. (Keep in mind there are certain circumstances where a person is not allowed to “cancel” their right to receive child support).
Shannon L. Hall, Eggert & Associates, P.C. 503-837-6111