Divorcing parents often ask about agreements where a custodial parent will give up child support in exchange for not having the other parent involved in the child’s life. Some parents may feel that a clean break is in the interest of the family because the other parent is a bad influence or has shown little interest in a relationship with the child. Or maybe it’s because the relationship between the parents is acrimonious or distant and they want to cut the ties that bind. Whatever the reason may be, even if parents agree to a no access – no support arrangement, it does not mean the court will sign on.
First of all, no access – no child support agreements ignore the fact that child support is the right of the child. Child support is intended to serve the best interest of a child in hopes that the child can continue to enjoy the same standard of living they would have if the parents had stayed together. In the courts’ eyes, a child should not go without the financial support of both parents just because a divorcing couple wants to move on.
Another hurdle to clear in the courts is the fact that children typically benefit from a continued relationship with both parents after a divorce. Countless experts in the field of child development have weighed in on the issue and, barring situations of abuse, the widely held consensus is that children do better physically and emotionally when they continue a relationship with both parents.
Finally, even if parents agree on a no access – no support arrangement, it is worth noting that enforcing such an agreement is next to impossible if a parent changes their mind and later wants to establish a relationship with a child or a custodial parent decides to pursue child support or child support arrears down the road. In the absence of a legally binding agreement, parents and children are vulnerable to the whims of other parties to the arrangement.
Of course, every situation is unique. There are exceptional circumstances where a court will agree to deviate from child support guidelines but only if it benefits a child as much or more than the guidelines that exist. As to parenting time, there are cases where a child is under threat of harm that make a relationship with one parent dangerous or the distance a young child would have to travel outweighs the benefit. There are many factors a court will consider when deciding child support and parenting time arrangements.
If you have questions regarding Illinois child support, parenting time and parenting responsibility, it is important to discuss your concerns with an experienced and skilled family law attorney who will advocate for your and your child’s best interests. Contact Libertyville Illinois family law attorney Ronald L Bell & Associates for answers to your questions today at 847-495-6000.