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Do I have the right to waive the receipt of child support?

No. Child support is a benefit and entitlement for a minor child. Under Florida law, a parent does not have the legal right to waive the receipt of child support. Also, a parent does not have the unilateral right to determine how much he or she wants to pay, nor can the recipient parent due the same thing. Any agreements which purport to do so are against the public policy in the state of Florida and are unenforceable.

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There are many, many cases which deal with this very issue. Just a few to read which are instructive, are as follows: Lester v. Lester, 736 So.2d 1257 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999); Strickland v. Strickland, 344 So.2d 931 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1977; Brock v. Hudson, 494 So.2d 285 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986); and Warrick v. Hender, 198 So.2d 348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1967).

The amount of child support to be paid is determined by statute in Florida. This section is known as the child support guidelines in Florida, and is found under in Florida Statue 61.30. The judge assigned to your case is going to make certain that a “Child Support Guideline Worksheet” is filed in your case, and that the appropriate amount of child support, as required by law, is being paid.

The new child support statute in Florida does have significant changes from previous versions. The statute takes into consideration credits or reduction as to the amount required to be paid as a result of “substantial time sharing”.

Substantial time sharing, as that term is defined under Florida law, would be any amount of overnight time with the children in excess of 20% of the year, or at least 73 overnight visits throughout the course of a year.

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