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Can parents determine child support without court input?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2022 | Divorce |

Even if you and your spouse agree on all terms of your divorce, you cannot completely finalize everything without the input of the court. If you have children, you can decide on custody and parenting time issues, but the court must approve any child support agreements.

The Superior Court of California notes that the state has set child support guidelines you must follow. A judge must ensure that your arrangement meets these guidelines.

Main reason

The main reason why the court must have the final say on all child support matters is that the judge must ensure they are in the best interests of the child and provide fair support. Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financially for their children, but support requirements depend on each parent’s income. The parent with more income should provide higher financial support than the parent with a lower income. Neither parent should face financial hardship and the children should not have to go without proper financial care because of a lopsided or unfair child support arrangement.


When you attempt a child support agreement, you need to consider a few factors to ensure the court will accept it. You want to think about who the children will spend the most time with because the non-custodial parent will pay support but it will depend on how much time he or she spends with the children.

Also, consider the needs of your children. Special needs or health situations may require a higher amount of support. It is also essential to try to ensure support makes sense in relation to your incomes and lifestyle.

Ultimately, the court has to sign off on any child support arrangements. If you try to create an unfair setup, the court will probably throw it out and create its own order.