Family Lawyer

Being a parent only adds to the pain and complications of divorce. Not only must you and your spouse decide how to divide your shared assets, but you also need to address spousal support, child support, and child custody. Of course, oftentimes these tasks cannot be settled amicably and need to be presented before a judge. However, it may benefit both parties if a settlement can be arranged outside of court. 

Benefits to Settling

Arriving at a child support arrangement both you and your spouse can agree upon may prove to be positive. States will usually have their own unique formulas when it comes to calculating child support. The formulas generally involve examining how expenses are budgeted in a control house, a married couple without children,  versus a home with similar income and living conditions with children. These algorithms may take into account a decrease in living conditions for the custodial parent assuming their wages are now spent on goods for the children; in which case, the noncustodial parent must compensate for the spouse’s reduced living conditions in addition to child-related expenses. Although formulas will vary, child support payments are generally considered to be disproportionately high by many noncustodial parents. Therefore, reaching an agreement with your spouse may provide you with lower payments than the court would assign. You and your spouse may be required to provide the court with evidence as to why the noncustodial parent will be receiving less than the state recommends. A family law attorney within your locality should be familiar with the details regarding the legality of child support settlements. 

Although it seems to benefit the noncustodial parent in an obvious manner, why should the custodial parent settle? In many cases, the noncustodial parent will view the court-appointed payments as unfair or unaffordable. The law requires the noncustodial parent to pay the support and has the power to arrest them provided they refuse. However, some ex-spouses may feel uncomfortable reporting the default to the court. This may be because the custodial parent still wants the noncustodial parent present to an extent in their child’s life, or perhaps, reporting the late or absent payments decreases the likelihood the custodial parent will receive anything. If the noncustodial parent is in jail, it may significantly reduce the chances of the custodial parent to collect any support. The benefit of settling as the custodial parent is that it can increase your chances of collecting. When the noncustodial parent voluntarily agrees to a deal, it is more likely they will pay on time. 

It is critical to contact a family law attorney, like a family lawyer in Lake Forest, IL, who specializes in child support if you are currently attempting to negotiate a settlement with an ex. The attorney may be able to develop a contract that is both legally binding and mutually accepted. 

Thank you to the experts at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC., for their input into family law.