You’re past the point of no return. Separating from your ex and splitting the time you spend with your child is never easy. Obviously you want to spend as much time as possible with them and make sure they have everything they need. If you’re going through the court system, odds are you’ll need some serious dough to go that route. It is possible to draw up a child support and/or parenting plan without mucking about in the court room or your attorney’s office. This of course requires both parties to be cooperative with each other and have the child’s best interests in mind to make sure they are properly taken care of. Here are some things to think about if you’re going to do it this way:
- Make Lists. Now’s the time to tally up everything that your kids need and how much all that stuff costs. This could be more or less than you expected. It’s imperative that effort is made to ensure they have everything they need. Short changing anybody here is definitely a bad thing all around. Nobody likes shelling out large amounts of money. Obviously this isn’t the cable bill and the money coming out of your pocket is going towards your child’s food and school expenses or anything else that might come up. Times could get hard, but being a parent is about doing what you gotta do for the greater good.
- What’s Fair. When you’re drawing up an agreement between the two of you, make sure that the agreement is fair so the court will agree with it as well. Child support payments can easily stack up if you’re not on your game. If you simply cannot afford what is proposed, go back to the drawing board. Not being able to afford your payments because you wanted to take that trip to Vegas is another matter though. You might have to make some sacrifices; this should not be news to you though. The numbers are going to be different if both of you are employed as opposed to if only one of you works. Make the right decision on what percentage of your wages go to your child. (Typical state law percentages are 20% of your gross earnings for 1 child and increases from there).
Any out of court settlement is going to hinge on your ability to communicate effectively with your ex. Have a plan and come prepared with specific things you want to include in your discussion on the matter. Your child’s needs are the most important thing here but it is easy to overlook being treated unfairly by your ex in these kinds of situations. Make sure that everyone involved (you, your child, your ex etc.) are accounted for. Read everything you’re signing and know your rights and put your child first.