Child Support Negotiations Attorneys Serving the Jacksonville, Florida Area
In divorce, everything is negotiable – sometimes, even child support. However, not all items of child support are negotiable, and if you and your spouse disagree, the courts will use the standard calculation for support, which may or may not be what you wanted to receive or pay.
When Can You Negotiate Child Support Payment Amounts?
If the state’s guideline for child support is too small for your family’s lifestyle or your child’s needs, you may negotiate with your spouse to receive a higher amount of child support. The opposite applies as well. Perhaps the state guidelines created greater value child support than you feel necessary. Regardless of the situation, the judge will rule on your arguments and determine if the child support can be modified if you both cannot agree. Conversely, if you and your spouse can agree to a negotiated child support amount, then you are in control of that number – not the courts.
Add-Ons Might be Negotiable
Certain child support “add-ons” are often what is negotiated. These are not included in the state’s guidelines for child support. Instead, these are additional costs that the custodial parent might encounter, such as transportation costs, recreational activities, daycare, after-school camps, or college.
You and your spouse can negotiate how these expenses will be handled, including whether one or both parents will be responsible for college courses, textbooks, and more, for example.
A Child with Disabilities
Parents often must negotiate child support amounts when a child has a disability and requires additional care. Often, a child with a disability will have a greater support value than the standard state formula. These extenuating circumstances, however, are typically argued in front of a judge. If you are claiming more for child support due to a child’s disability, your divorce and child support lawyer can argue with evidence that supports your reasons for requesting more per month.
Dental and Medical Costs
Parents are required to share the dental and medical costs equally, but equally does not mean 50/50 in all cases. There might be an instance where one parent makes more than the other. Therefore, that parent may agree to pay 70 percent while the lower earner pays 30 percent of all medical and dental costs.
Questions About Child Support? Meet with a Family Law Attorney Today
The essential point is this: There are numerous areas where you can and cannot negotiate child support. If you feel that you are receiving too little or paying too much, it is in your best interest to speak with a family law attorney and explore your options. Naturally, if you and your ex cannot agree, the judge must decide if a modification or negotiated amount is acceptable. So, it is in your best interest to try to negotiate with your ex-spouse to determine what amounts are best for the children.