Mediation For Child Support Allows For A More Flexible Plan
The mediation process can be an ideal way to decide on child support amounts
Utilizing mediation for child support arrangements may be in your best interest. This is because child support is an area that is particularly well suited for mediation. The flexible and self-driven format and process provides a way for parents to create very personal and specific arrangements for child support. As a parent, you know your children’s financial needs better than anyone. In mediation, you can create an agreement for the amount of child support or, alternately, a plan that takes into account payments for particular things or events that may be important to the parents.
The amount of child support is often derived from a calculation based on the parents’ incomes, called “guidelines.” The Child Support Guidelines are named so because the resulting dollar amount is a suggestion for what should be the “correct” amount of child support to be paid. Your attorney can explain in more detail the legal strength of that “suggestion” and under what circumstances child support could deviate from that guideline amount. That is why having a lawyer present during mediation can make the process of deciding on child support run more smoothly.
If parents agree, it may be more appropriate for them to support their children by paying for specific items or events. Perhaps a family’s children are attending private school and it is important to the parents that the children continue to attend even after they separate. In that instance, it could be more important for the parents to have one or both of them pay tuition instead of child support. Maybe a child has special needs or interests that require additional support that the parents want to include. Through mediation, almost any kind of specific arrangement for child support could be created, if agreed to by both parents.