Child Support Orders: Why You Need a Formal Arrangement

Going back and forth in court over child support issues can become expensive quickly. Because of this, many parents want to handle their child support issues outside of court to save time and money. If you and your co-parent want to prevent an expensive and drawn-out legal process, you can try to resolve your child support matter outside of court first. Once an agreement is reached, you can both present the agreement to court for entry to ensure it is on record and enforceable.

Naturally, couples going through a divorce are mainly concerned about how their new parenting time arrangements will impact the kids. One way to tackle this issue is by reaching an agreement on child support with your co-parent. When you have an agreement in place regarding child support, it can take some tension out of the proceedings and help you avoid a prolonged court process that will likely make your co-parenting relationship very strained, which will have a negative impact on your children.

If you want to work out your child support issues on your own instead of having a judge decide for you, you and your co-parent will have to be ready to compromise and handle any disagreements or arguments. In this situation, it’s wise to work with an experienced child support attorney in Kent as you negotiate your order. Your attorney will help ensure the final agreement is fair, enforceable and addresses all of the children’s expenses and needs.

About child support orders

A child support order is a legally binding document that details the responsibilities of each parent when it comes to supporting the children financially. These types of orders are established during a divorce but can also be drawn up outside of court in other situations, such as when non-married parents decide to end their relationship. While there is no rule that says parents must have an agreed-upon order for child support, doing so will protect the children’s interests should either parent not meet their obligations under the order.

Entering your order with the court

Even if you both agree on a child support order and it’s in writing, it will not be binding legally until a judge reviews it. Once you have an agreement, a judge will review the case and your proposed settlement. As long as the agreement appears fair and legal, the judge will sign it, making it binding on both parties. However, if the judge finds the agreement lacking when they compare it to the amount a co-parent would be required to pay based on the state’s support schedule, they may not sign off on it. That’s why it’s best to work with a child support attorney in Kent. Your attorney will ensure the agreement is one a judge will be comfortable signing.

Keep in mind that the main aim of the court regarding child support is to ensure a child’s financial needs are met by a comprehensive and fair order. If your co-parent stops making payments in violation of the order, you will be able to use the court’s powers to get it enforced. With a court order, you can have the non-paying parent’s wages garnished or use other enforcement methods, such as having their driver’s license suspended.

If you are the person paying the support, having an agreement entered into court protects you as well. Without a formal agreement in place, your co-parent can take you to court to obtain one, and you may owe child support back to your child’s birth even if you paid for their expenses throughout all of the time leading up to the order. With a court-entered order, you can provide proof of payment of a court-ordered amount if you are accused of not paying the support.

Whether you will pay or receive child support, it will have an impact on your life and the lives of your children. Speak to a child support attorney in Kent about your support case today to ensure your order is enforceable, fair and provides for the needs of your children.

Office Locations