Can a Custodial Parent Waive Child Support in RI Family Court?

Can a parent with physical custody of a child in Rhode Island waive RI child support? The short answer is yes. However, the Providence Family Court will typically leave child support open so that the custodial parent can change their decision at any time and seek child support.

If a custodial parent decides they do not want the other parent to be legally obligated to pay child support, then the Court will leave child support “open.”

Providence Family Court child support

Child support

When child support is left open, it means that the other parent has no legal obligation to pay support to the parent with placement of the children. However, the other parent can apply to The Rhode Island Family Court, at any time, to seek a child support order. The decision to not collect child support will not be prejudicial. In other words, the custodial parent can ask for child support at any time, for any reason.

If the parent with physical custody of the child is receiving welfare (FIP) benefits, he or she cannot waive ongoing child support because the child support is paid to the state who has an interest in the matter. In cases where the parents share physical custody of a minor child and the incomes are relatively equal, then both parents often agree to leave child support open.

Child Support in Rhode Island is based on the income shares model and can be determined by using the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines and worksheet

In a Rhode Island Divorce, obligations to pay child support are the same as post-divorce and for non-married parents. If you opt to leave child support open and later decide you want child support to provide for your children, then you will need to file a motion in Providence Family Court or in the applicable County for a support order and a court hearing will be scheduled. You will not get a support order until the Court determines your motion.

Article By Rhode Island Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody Attorney, David Slepkow 401-437-1100

“In 2013, some of the lowest rates of receiving all child support that was due belonged to custodial parents who were under 30 years old (30.3 percent), who had less than a high school education (30.3 percent), whose child had no contact with their other parent (32.0 percent), who were Black (33.7 percent), or who had never married (34.1 percent). These rates were not statistically different from each other (Figure 5). Custodial parents who had at least a Bachelor’s degree (62.4 percent), who had joint legal or physical custody of their child(ren) (58.6 percent), who were 40 years or older (58.5 percent), or who were divorced (56.5 percent) had some of the highest rates of receiving all child support payments that were due in 2013.” Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement