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Child support may be more flexible if negotiated outside of court

Divorce can be difficult for children. Parents may get caught up in the disputes and disagreements and lose track of the emotional turmoil the children are going through. This may be especially true when it comes to negotiating child support. If parents think of support as one more thing to divide, the children may come out on the losing end. However, parents in Pennsylvania who are able to negotiate the terms of support without orders from a judge may end up with a settlement that satisfies everyone.

Most states follow a formula for determining the amount of support a parent must pay. However, there may be benefits to settling terms outside of court. Those terms may even include a smaller monthly amount in exchange for other considerations. For example, a custodial parent may accept a smaller support payment if the noncustodial parent agrees to pay for summer camp or after school activities that would not normally be included in court-ordered support.

If parents negotiate outside of court, support payments can be tailored to fit both parents' financial situations. This may ensure that payments are received regularly. If the co-parent convinces a judge that a hardship exists, the support granted may be less than the custodial parent needs. Similarly, the state formula may be too high for the co-parent to meet, and he or she may default, leaving the other parent with no support. If the parent seeking support thinks this is a possibility, negotiation may be the better choice.

Parents in Pennsylvania who want to try negotiating their child support terms seek the guidance of family law attorneys. Experienced attorneys can guide them through the process to make sure the settlement is fair and the children are provided for well. Support terms may have to be revisited at various times until the children reach the age of emancipation. Many return to their lawyers for advice during those times of renegotiation.

Source: familyeducation.com, "Child Support: What's Fair?", Accessed on Aug. 15, 2016

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