Divorce and Child Support – A Guide for Parental Agreements
Everyone thinks “guideline” is the only option when it comes to divorce and child support. But, if the parents can agree, they can creatively determine ways to best meet the financial needs of the children. Rest assured, if an agreement cannot be reached or if an agreement is no longer working, you’ll be back to square one: guideline.
One popular option is to allow the custodial parent to stay in the family home in exchange for reduced support. While the courts will not order this, the parties may agree that it is unwise to uproot the children amidst all of the other upheaval in their lives. In this case, the non custodial parent delays the profit from the sale of the house in exchange for lower payments.
Another option for is to mandate that one or both parties put aside a specified amount of money each month to go toward the child’s higher education. Some or all of this money can come from or be in lieu of child support payments.
Sometimes people want support for a longer period of time – say until the child turns 21 – at a lower amount. This may give the non custodial parent breathing room in the present and ensure that the child is able to go to college or get a start in life knowing there’s a bed to sleep on and a warm meal at the end of the day.
Should you choose an alternative to guideline, make sure you have everything in writing and file the agreement with the court. These agreements are strengthened when both parties have been advised by separate counsel as to their rights and the attorneys sign off on the agreement as well.
When it comes to divorce and child support, there’s guideline and there’s the alternative – your alternative.
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