Can Child Support be Negotiated?Published: Apr 16, 2018 in Child Support
Written by Anthony Piccirilli
For parents who do not live together, figuring out child support payments is a necessity. According to Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines, both parents need to be financially responsible for their kids’ food, clothing, and shelter. But sometimes parents need to create a plan to meet their unique needs and ensure their child is living a comfortable life. In this instance, it may be better to negotiate payments instead of getting a court order.
If you have questions about child support payments, call a Pittsburgh child support lawyer at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC. We have years of experience calculating payments, determining who owes what, figuring out payment terms that you and your child’s other parent can live with. Call (412) 471-5100, or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation today.
Ways Parents Can Negotiate Child Support
There are several options for parents who may want to negotiate child support payments, including:
Work it out themselves.
If you and your child’s other parent get along, you can try drawing up child support payment plans yourselves. It would be ideal to come to your own terms, since there is no one else who knows your child’s needs better than you do.
This situation is only going to work if you two can agree to all the terms, and the court also approves the agreement. If, however, you can’t both get on the same page, you may want to seek help from a third party.
Hire a mediator.
For parents who can’t agree to payment terms on their own, another option is a mediator. A mediator is a third party hired to help negotiations move along so parents can reach an agreement without going to court.
Mediators are ideal because they are an independent party, which means they are not loyal to either the mother or the father. They can help you figure out who will pay what for child support calculations mandated by the state, as well as any extra expenses, including:
- Health insurance
- Extracurricular activities and sports
- Summer activities, like camp or pool memberships
- Equipment for children with special needs
These out-of-pocket expenses are generally above and beyond the amount calculated for child support, so it’s important that they be considered as well.
Court-Ordered Child Support.
If all else fails, the court can figure out child support payments for you. The downside to this is that you will lose your ability to negotiate, as the court will just use the state’s calculations for your payments. While you can make a motion to modify support, you will need to show a valid reason for the change. Otherwise, the court will reject your request.
Get Your Questions Answered by a Child Support Lawyer
You want what’s best for your child, but you don’t want your child’s other parent to try to take advantage of you. Consider contacting a child support lawyer at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC to discuss the particulars planning out these payments. We will go over your particular situation, including and help you make a list of your child’s needs to consider. When it comes time to draw up an agreement, we will work with you and your child’s other parent to come up with an agreement that will appease everyone.