Can 18 Year Old Waive Child Support Arrears

by Daniah Whittaker
(Sylvania, Ohio, Lucas county)

This is for a friend of mine who is too depressed to make the inquiry or much of anything else lately and has been considering suicide for quite a while now. His ex divorced him in Ohio when their child was not even four months old because she wanted to live and "be with" another married couple. The wonderful state gave primary custody of the kid to her anyway.


At the age of 12, kid made false accusations against me and my friend and his new wife after making worse ones against the ex. Ohio took her accusations against Mom and step-dad as "unproven', but took all of the kid's accusations against him and company as God's truth in stone. He has been unable/unallowed to see his kid or even send the child a post card without it going through the ex for approval.

He has never even been investigated about these accusations, but had all rights stripped from him. When the economy tanked out in 2005, he lost his business and his home. Hasn't been able to really find work since. Ohio refused to modify his support downward and he couldn't afford to support his own new family.

He owes close to $35K in arrears. Kid is going to be 18 in a month. I have heard that many states do not allow the parents to forgive or waive arrears because the right to support is the child's. Other states allow forgiveness or waiver of arrears by the custodial parent. The state allegedly is enforcing the child's rights to support, etc. but the only real right they seem to care about is the money issue, not the equal access to time, love, company, management, and affection.

Those parts of the child's rights are completely ignored. In Ohio law, is the right to arrears the custodial parent's or the child's? Could the now adult child file an affidavit forgiving the arrears or waiving them and set my friend free from this burden and his adulterous, misguidedly vindictive, money-grubbing ex?

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Back Child Support
by: Child Support America Team Member

Hi Daniah,

The right to forgive the arrears is the custodial parent's. The law looks at the fact the parent took care of the child until the age of 18. I am sorry to hear about his depression. When the child is emancipated, he will only owe the arrears and the current support will stop. Has he tried to make arrangements with the office? Paying something even $5.00 looks good on his behalf.

CSA STAFF

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