Family Law
Your Children

Negotiating a fair child support payment

Residents of Bakersfield and other areas of California might want to learn more about what is considered fair when divorce happens and determination of child support is an issue. You want the agreement to be fair to both you and your spouse.

According to familyeducation, most states have a formula that determines child support.

Custodial parents may want to agree to less

In some cases, it may be wise to accept the amount, even though it may be less than the guidelines. The reasons are the following:

  • It may be easier to collect the payments. If your spouse defaults, it will make receiving the payments even harder.
  • You may be able to get your spouse to agree to add-ons, such as camp, after-school activities or even college.
  • If your spouse proves hardship, the state amount may not apply. In this case, negotiation might work better for you.

Negotiation may also work best for non-custodial parents

  • Your spouse may agree to less than the guidelines
  • You can modify the agreement if your income changes significantly
  • You have more input into the amount which is more comfortable for your needs

In these cases, negotiation might be the course of action.

Changes involve court action

Most of the states do not allow verbal changes; after the initial divorce, you must go to court in order to modify the arrangement. How long will child support last? It should end when your child reaches the age of 18 or 21, in some states. You can agree to extend this period with your former spouse.

Some formulas for negotiating amounts

If not accepting state recommendations, you might figure a monthly budget for the children. Household expenses, such as mortgage or rent, are a consideration; added to this are food and utilities. The formula might be one half to the children and one half to the parent. Divide yearly clothing costs by 12.

If you or a friend need help in a divorce, it may be wise to contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help protect your rights. You want the best possible outcome for your children, in working for a fair resolution.