Payne & Associates, PLLC
336-283-2937

You probably know that state law helps to govern child support. This means that you can't just decide how much you want to pay. Even if your spouse agrees, you have to follow the law.

This is to prevent someone from talking an ex into accepting a tiny amount that doesn't provide for the child's needs. After all, the court has the child's best interests in mind, and the support money plays a huge role in that.

While you may think that this means mediation can't address child support payments, this is not actually the case. If you're using mediation to divide up your assets, agree on a parenting and plan, and really get things in order for your life after the divorce, you can also work out a child support agreement.

The catch, though, is that you do typically have to draft a binding document and show it to the judge who is presiding over your case. The court then makes sure that your agreement is not in violation of the law. If it's not, the judge signs off on the agreement and you're then obligated to go along with it.

It is important to note that, even though you and your spouse came up with the plan in mediation, that doesn't mean you can alter it or fail to make your payments. After it's a court order, you could face penalties for doing so.

Mediation gives parents a chance to sit down and find a just, fair agreement without giving the judge the only say in the matter. For everything from asset division to support payments, you must know all of your legal options, rather than just handing the decisions over to the court.

Source: FIndLaw, "Child Support by Agreement," accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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Payne & Associates, PLLC
206 North Spruce Street, Suite 1B
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-283-2937
Fax: 336-217-8784
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