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Parents have a responsibility to ensure their children have everything they need. However, misunderstandings can arise over each parent’s role and obligation towards the children’s welfare. These disagreements can deny the children their rights and put a strain on the parents’ relationship.
Ann Goade Family Mediator can help you. She has over three decades of experience offering child support mediation services.
Child support is the financial support owed by a parent to a child after divorce. Unmarried parents must also pay for the child’s upkeep or needs. The amount paid by the noncustodial parent helps the custodial parent raise the child.
What Child Support Covers
Child support payments cover many child-related expenses. However, they don’t pay only for the bare necessities, such as food, clothing, and education.
1. Child support can cover basic needs, such as housing, clothing, and food, as well as daycare/aftercare/summer camp expenses.
2. The parent with better employee-covered insurance benefits should carry the basic medical expenses.
3. Child support can pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses covering uninsured medical costs.
4. Child support can cover educational expenses, such as lunch money, books, tuition, uniforms, etc.
5. Child support can cover childcare costs when the custodial parent is working.
6. Child support can cater to the child’s transportation costs, such as car payments, gas, insurance, or fare.
7. The child support does not necessarily cover basic entertainment, such as camping trips and extracurricular activities, but does cover television and internet, etc.
Child support is based upon the parents’ percentages of income and the noncustodial parent often pays the child support to the custodial parent. However, the payment may still be necessary when there is equal timesharing where one parent earns more than the other.
While 89.8% of child support agreements are formal agreements established by courts, your case doesn’t have to reach the courts. The court process can be expensive and slow. It also follows stringent laws, so there’s little room to tailor the arrangement to suit your family’s unique needs.
Child support mediation may be the best first step in the negotiations. In this setup, a mediator helps the parents express their views as they work towards a consensus.
Child support mediation may have many benefits.
1. The parents will abide by the agreement because they participated in drafting it.
2. This process can take into account each party’s unique circumstances. For example, you may have lumpsum payments instead of monthly payments if one party earns at irregular intervals.
3. The process can foster communication and engagement, which helps as you co-parent.
4. The final decision isn’t binding before you sign the agreement. Therefore, you may have other recourses if it doesn’t work.
5. You may reach a decision where no party owes the other child support payments if you both earn the same amount of income. However, this outcome may not be possible in a courtroom environment.
Ann Goade Family Mediator is the leading family law mediator on the Treasure Coast. Ms. Goade has over 35 years of experience helping individuals mediate their differences. Successful child support mediation will save you money and time.