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After a final judgment and decree of divorce that establishes child support has been entered, ex-spouses may wonder if they are allowed to establish their own private agreements outside of court modifying the child support obligation. Under Georgia law, such private agreements after the decree are generally not permissible. In fact, spouses who are obligated to pay child support pursuant to a court order risk being found in contempt of court for violating the child support order, even if the agreement is in writing and signed by both parties. Specifically, if a disagreement arises between the parties after the private agreement has been made, it is possible for the parent receiving child support to be successful on a contempt action against the other parent seeking the original amount of child support even though he/she agreed to the out-of-court modification. The rationale behind the rule disallowing out-of-court agreements to modify child support is that the right to child support belongs to the child and it is not a parent's right to modify or waive child support in a private agreement subsequent to the final decree. Although there may be certain equitable exceptions to the general rule, parents who are obligated to pay child support should instead seek to modify the child support with the court as opposed to entering into a private agreement with the other parent. This way he/she will avoid the adverse consequences of child support contempt and/or any other issues that may arise from entering into an invalid private agreement. If you have questions about child support modification, contact an experienced divorce/family law attorney at The Faucette Law Firm—(770) 485-6620.

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Faucette Law Firm, LLC - Douglas County Family Law Lawyer
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Phone: (770) 485-6633

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