When you see divorce depicted on television, you see bitter court battles over money and teenagers acting out in response to their new life. But this dramatization does not need to be your reality. Many ex-spouses successfully co-parent and raise happy, well-adjusted kids.
Child support does not exist to provide a lavish lifestyle for one parent over the other. These payments help maintain your dependent’s quality of life. Couples can work together with their legal teams to develop a financial arrangement that meets everyone’s needs.
How can you determine a fair amount outside of court?
Sit down together and create a list of monthly expenses for your minors. The list should include food, medical costs, housing, school supplies, extracurricular activities and recreation. Do not leave anything out. Once you have a complete list, you and your partner can discuss payments. You will want to factor in both incomes and where your kids will spend the most time.
What is a stipulated agreement?
Many families prefer to settle their divorce outside of a courtroom. Mediation is typically much less stressful for parents and children alike. In many cases, parents will find they can reach a compromise on their own. A stipulated agreement is a settlement amount that exes have decided on in a family meeting with a mediator present. A judge will later review the agreed-upon amount and sign off on these payments.
Child support discussions can be difficult. Working with a mediator and a lawyer can ease tensions and find a rational solution for everyone involved.