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Are there different ways to agree on child support?

Child support is one of the trickier aspects of divorce and child custody. Even though most divorcing parents believe child support is calculated only by the family court system, there are actually three commonly used methods to agree on child support.

Child support may be determined and agreed on by divorcing parents through negotiations. These negotiations usually take place with an attorney present and do not necessarily require the Family Court. For parents to agree to child support through this method, they must be willing to work together and address the issues of both sides to determine an adequate amount of child support. In these negotiations, divorcing parents may allow their attorneys to negotiate for them. When an agreement has been reached, it is put in writing and presented to the Family Court. Barring any issues, the Family Court will approve the agreement and put it into effect.

Closely related to formal negotiations is the process of alternative dispute resolution. This form of collaborative law allows divorcing parents to work with each other through mediation to resolve issues related to child support. Alternative dispute resolution options are a less adversarial approach to family law issues and allow parents to be as involved in the decision-making process as they want. These agreements also are presented to the Family Court for approval.

If divorcing parents are unable or unwilling to work together through mediation or negotiation to resolve child support issues, the Family Court may have to do it for them. When divorcing parents are disputing child support, the Family Court may use its resources and the standard child support calculations to make a child support order. Although this option may work best for disputing parents, it takes much of their negotiating power away.

Child support, and other issues related to family law, are highly complex and may require the help of an experienced attorney. Regardless of which method of dispute resolution you choose, you may benefit most from having the counsel of a trusted legal professional.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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