Child support is the one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. In New York, there are certain guidelines that determine the amount of child support, which non-custodial parents must pay their former spouse. But there also scenarios in which a couple might deviate from the guidelines, agreeing on a different amount.
According to child support attorneys in Long Island, NY, meditation is the best way to determine child support, as it allows you and your ex-spouse to openly discuss the needs of your children and create an agreement you’re both comfortable with. But if your ex refuses meditation, you’ll have to settle the issue in court.
Here are some tips on negotiating child support the less stressful way:
You must be honest about your income and expenses if you want to reach a child support agreement that is both fair and equitable. Present important documents, such as pay stub and tax returns, and a verification of your monthly living expenses.
Think About All Possible Expenses
In addition to regular living expenses, it’s important to include other possible expenditures in the calculation, such as medical bills, and educational and extra-curricular expenses. Anything that your child is accustomed to, which may cause disruption if taken away, should be included. For example, rather than pulling kids from the school they’re attending, you can work with your ex-spouse so that the added cost of schooling is factored in the child support amount.
It’s easier to reach a child support agreement when you provide documentation, rather than estimated or unsubstantiated amounts. This allows both parties to clearly see what expenses to consider and leaves less room for conflicts and disagreement. Present all bank statements, checks, and even receipts to develop a clear picture of the overall needs of the family.
Similar to any part of the divorce process, taking the time to listen to the other party’s questions and concerns helps make negotiating a child support agreement go smooth. Keep things in perspective. While it may seem frustrating to give money to your former spouse, it’s important to remember that the support will provide for the needs of your children.
Divorce is a complicated process, especially when there are children involved. Partner with a child custody lawyer to negotiate an agreement that both parties are comfortable with, and which meets the needs of your family.