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Should I negotiate for child support or let the court decide?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Child Support |

California couples can be at a crossroads when they are ending their relationship and moving on. If they have children, they should be a primary concern. That is particularly important with the amount of child support that will be paid.

Often, the parents’ relationship is contentious making it difficult to negotiate or even discuss their issues. However, in cases where they are putting the child’s needs first, there could be an opening to agree on a child support amount that suits both sides and especially those of the child. This can be beneficial as there is less of a chance of dispute when compared to the court deciding based on the state’s child support guidelines.

How do parents craft a child support agreement on their own?

There are specific steps that parents must take when they are creating a child support agreement on their own. It is vital to understand that the state requires a minimum amount be paid to support the child. This is to provide them with a place to live, food, clothing, items for school, extracurricular activities, health care and more.

The parents’ income is fundamental with child support. In some instances, neither side is fully aware of exactly what the other earns and how much they have in terms of savings and investments. This must all be disclosed.

Regarding the state guidelines, the judge will need to compare how much the order would be if they were used when compared to what the parents agreed on without it. If there is too great a disparity where less is paid than the guidelines would say, the judge can refuse to sign. In short, all expenses need to be calculated.

Wealthier parents, those who have a substantial income disparity and people in situations with children who have special needs should look closely at the guidelines and the numbers being exchanged before agreeing.

Parents need to know the facts about negotiating child support

Not every child support case is the same. Parents have different relationships, objectives and incomes. Still, coming to their own negotiated settlement for child support is a useful path to take. Before doing so, having the proper guidance can be critical. This provides protection and can help with making a reasonable agreement by themselves or deciding to let the court handle it.



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