Parents living in Indiana cannot forego time with their children in order to pay less child support, the state’s Supreme Court has ruled.
In a unanimous ruling, the court justices condemned a 2006 divorce agreement in which a father man had agreed to forego all time with his children in exchange for paying no child support.
Justice Steven David declared:
“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.”
The judge, a former army officer, added:
“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. Every child deserves better than to be treated as nothing more than a bargaining chip.”
According a report on RTV6, the father in the 2006 later changed his mind and offered to pay backdated support in exchange for time with his daughter, but the mother objected and his request was thrown out by a lower court.