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What's the most important thing to remember if you're in a big dispute about child support with your ex-spouse? Show up to your scheduled depositions and try to work it out. Otherwise, you're going to end up in court.

Pop star Britney Spears is in a dispute about the amount of child support she paying to her ex-husband, Kevin Federline. Spears and Federline have two sons who live part of the time with their father. Due to the disparity in their incomes, Spears pays $20,000 per month to her ex for the boys' support.

He says that it's far from enough. While $20,000 a month might sound like a lot of money to the average parent, Federline says he isn't able to provide the boys what they're accustomed to having when they're with their mother. In addition, the amount of support currently being paid was figured back when the singer was having a lull in her career and Federline's career was more robust than it is now.

Economic disparity and changing circumstances are often the driving factors behind requests for child support modifications. When people with high incomes are involved, it isn't unusual for support to be in the thousands of dollars every month.

What is unusual is the singer's refusal to show up for a properly filed deposition. That put her ex-husband to unnecessary expense and isn't likely to play well when it comes time to stand in front of a judge. It's likely that the singer and her representatives don't want to comply with her ex-husband's demands for financial disclosure now that her career has rebounded thanks to a successful Las Vegas show.

While no one likes the idea of exposing their finances to their ex-spouse or paying additional child support, it may be far more expensive in the long run to take a child support dispute into court -- and there's no guarantee what a judge will decide. The conventional wisdom says that it's always better to try to negotiate first. At least you can show the judge that you were willing to try to resolve the issue.


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