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Working Through Child Support in Mediation

January 2, 2018

For couples who do not have children, the divorce process can be quite simple. If you have children with your spouse and are going through a divorce, however, things can be more complicated. For example, instead of just having to worry about who is going to live where and how you are going to divide your stuff, you also have to think about things like child custody and visitation. There is another thing that couples with children have to think about when getting a divorce that those without children don’t have to worry about as well: child support.

As you might imagine, child support battles can get pretty nasty in some cases. Some people find themselves going to court over and over again to sort out matters of child support. However, this does not have to be the case. Many couples find that going through mediation to handle the various aspects of their divorce — including figuring out who should pay child support and how much should be paid — is the best option. Then, you will be able to sit and talk it out together with an experienced and unbiased divorce mediator, and you will not have to worry about fighting it out in court. These are some of the things that may happen while you’re discussing child support in mediation.

Discussing Guidelines

First of all, as you might already know, there are guidelines in place in New York State in regards to how much a person should pay in child support. This is based off of things like the number of children and the paying parent’s income levels. Some couples do not want to go off of these guidelines and would rather discuss these matters to determine what works best for them. Others may want to discuss the guidelines to get a rough idea of the approximate amount that someone in a similar family and financial situation would have to pay. Your divorce mediator should be willing to talk to you about what these guidelines are and how much you or your spouse would be required to pay in child support if you were to go off of these guidelines. You can then use this number as a starting point for your negotiations until you come to what seems like a reasonable agreement for everyone who is involved.

Talking About Personal Finances

Of course, personal finances matter when it comes to child custody. If you and your spouse make approximately the same amount of money, then the amount of child support that has to be paid to the custodial parent might not be quite as high. If you have been supporting your spouse and children or vice versa, a higher support amount or child support plus alimony payments might make sense. Basically, when you sit down with your mediator, you will need to go over both of your incomes and monthly financial obligations, such as rent amounts. Then, you can begin discussing how much of a child support payment would be considered fair and would be enough to help the custodial parent cover his or her monthly obligations so that a nice, safe home is available for the children.

Determining What Each Spouse Thinks is Fair

Of course, mediation works best if you and your spouse have a fairly amicable relationship and if the two of you are willing to sit down, listen to one another and talk things out. This is true in all matters related to your divorce, including child support. This is because you will have a chance to each talk about what you think is a fair amount of child support to be paid. In the best case scenario, you will be able to come to an agreement about this in mediation. If not, then you may find that you will need to go to court in order to have things worked out.

As you can see, if you sit down with a mediator to talk about your upcoming divorce, you can get a lot accomplished. Your mediator will help you talk out a lot of different things, including the cause of your divorce and the division of any marital property that you might have, such as money in the savings account, investments, the marital home and any furnishings that you purchased together throughout your marriage. A divorce mediator can help you talk out other things as well, including matters of child custody and how much child support will need to be paid and by whom. If you work with a good divorce mediator, you might find that you and your spouse will be able to work out all of these matters without having to go to court, which can make things easier and more pleasant for everyone who is involved.

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