Assume two individuals A and B make an oral contract, say A waives unpaid child support in exchange for B buying a house for their children to live at in perpetuity. Both parties follow through, but later B decides to sell the home and evict the children so B can solely financially benefit.

What sort of lawyer would have the expertise needed to help A enforce the oral contract effectively?

  • What grounds would B have to evict a standing tenant?
    – user35069
    Jan 20 at 8:03
  • @Rick How about on the grounds of not paying rent?
    – Greendrake
    Jan 20 at 14:49
  • In most US states and many other jurisdictions, contracts involving the sale or purchase of real estate must be in writing to be enforceable, so the suggested contract would not in any case be enforceable (in such a jurisdiction) by any type of lawyer. Jan 20 at 19:36

3 Answers 3


Usually, a family law lawyer would handle a matter like this one.

I am refraining from prejudging the outcome on the merits.


What sort of lawyer would have the expertise needed to help A enforce the oral contract effectively?


That contract would not be enforceable even if it was in writing.

Child support payments are mandated for the benefit of the children: A was not in the position to "waive" or "exchange" them in the first place .

So, B is still liable to pay all the unpaid child support, and B solely owns the house they bought and so is free to sell it.

  • Is it not permissible for a contract to say that one party won't seek a certain type of court action?
    – user253751
    Jan 20 at 12:39
  • @user253751 Permissible, but there needs to be a valid contract in the first place. None here.
    – Greendrake
    Jan 20 at 13:02
  • which factor of contract validity says you can't agree not to ask for child support?
    – user253751
    Jan 20 at 13:10
  • 2
    @user253751 The state won't decide of course if it doesn't know that the kids aren't being cared for by both parents. But the entitlement to receive child support exists from the moment the parents are separated, not from when the court decides who pays and how much. That entitlement can't be waived/traded as it exists for the benefit of the kids, and neither parent can decide that the kids aren't entitled.
    – Greendrake
    Jan 20 at 13:49
  • 2
    This answer is basically correct. A can't waive her child's right to child support from B any more than she can waive the bank's right to repayment of B's. It's not her money to negotiate with.
    – bdb484
    Jan 20 at 14:24

A family law lawyer would be able to advise whether such a term or contract could be enforced and if so, could also provide representation when trying to enforce it.

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