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Parents Can Not Surrender Parenting Time To Avoid Child Support

Last updated on Wednesday, June 26, 2013

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Supreme Court says Hoosier parents cannot surrender parenting time to avoid paying child support.

In a unanimous ruling released Tuesday afternoon, the state's high court rejected a divorce settlement where a father agreed to give up all parenting time, in exchange for not having to pay child support.

"The concept of parents negotiating away parenting time as a means to eliminate the obligation to pay child support is repugnant and contrary to public policy," Justice Steven David wrote in the opinion .

In the case, the father agreed in 2006 to surrender all time with his daughter, and the mother agreed to forego child support payments. Two years later, the father sought to revise the agreement to get time with his daughter, and pay previous child support amounts. A judge rejected that request when the mother objected.

"It is incomprehensible to this Court to imagine that either parent would ever stipulate to give up parenting time in lieu of not paying child support," David wrote. "Every child deserves better than to be treated as nothing more than a bargaining chip."

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