On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Raising a child is an enormous financial endeavor. Food costs alone can skyrocket as children age, not to mention other massive expenses like childcare and education. Far too often custodial parents try to bear the full brunt of this financial responsibility, but in many cases, it just isn’t feasible. Financially providing for a child is a shared duty to be carried by both parents, which is why custodial parents need to do everything they can to secure the child support they need to adequately provide for their kids.
Although many child support orders come from a judge deciding the matter, the issue can be negotiated amongst parents. These negotiations can be informal where the parents simply sit down and talk about what they think is fair, but agreements reached through this method are only legally enforceable if reduced to writing. Even then, these agreements need to be carefully drawn up so that they can’t be easily misconstrued.
Another way to settle child support disputes is to engage in alternative dispute resolution. Here, parents might sit down with their attorneys and a mediator to amicably come to a resolution on the matter. Again, the agreement will be commemorated in writing so that there is no miscommunication about what is being agreed to. Then, once a written agreement is created, whether through informal means or alternative dispute resolution, it must be shown to and signed off on by a judge. This is merely to ensure that the agreements have been voluntarily entered into and that they comply with state law.
The outcome of a child custody dispute can have a major impact on a family’s financial future. This is why it is usually of critical importance that custodial and noncustodial parents alike do everything in their power to protect their best interests, as well as the best interests of their child. To figure out how best to accomplish this, it may be wise to speak with a skilled family law attorney.