Can parents create their own child support agreement?

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2022 | Child Custody |

As a parent, when you think about divorce, you might envision a judge making all the decisions involving your children. While judges have the final say in legal matters affecting your kids, you are far from powerless.

You might not know it, but family courts want and encourage parental involvement in child-related decisions. Courts of today understand that child support and custody, two components typically decided by judges, work best with parental input.

Child support negotiation tips

Before you can negotiate with your co-parent successfully, you need to know your state’s child support requirements and guidelines. When you understand the law, you have the best chance of your support agreement finding favor in court. Other tips for negotiating include:

Set aside your emotions. The negotiation process is no time to air your emotional baggage. Stay focused on your children, and do not take the bait if your co-parent starts an argument or becomes uncooperative.

Consider every possible expense. You cannot always know what your kids need on a long-term basis. However, with careful forethought, you can anticipate many often-overlooked expenses like dental bills and extra-curricular activities.

Arrive at a suitable figure. Before you head into negotiations with your spouse, do your homework and come up with a balanced amount for child support. Both parents can take this step ahead of negotiations to establish what they believe is fair. From there, you can use discussion to help you close the gap between both figures.

Our final tip is to seek guidance from a family law professional. A thorough review of your final child support agreement ensures it is free of errors or anything else that a Tennessee judge would deem invalid.