If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and have a child together, the topic of child support is bound to come up. If it looks as though you will be the one responsible for paying support payments, use the following tips to help you get through negotiating the amount, frequency, and terms of your child support.
Have All Income and Expense Documentation
Before you go through mediation or to court to discuss you paying child support, obtain copies of all of your income. These copies should include income statements and tax papers, as well as any investment dividends or property that you will be keeping after the divorce.
Make sure you document all of your expenses as well, especially major bills such as mortgage or rent payments, car payments, and outstanding credit card debt that is not included in your divorce agreement.
When your payments are determined, the mediator or judge will look over all of this documentation to determine your income versus your expenses. However, you may want to consult with your child support lawyer beforehand and have them represent you, as some expenses may not count towards deducting your payments if they are considered luxury ones.
Write down All of Your Child's Extracurricular Activities
Along with your own personal financial information, write down all of your child's extracurricular activities and any educational expenses, such as private school tuition or book fees. If your child has many activities or school expenses, these may be divided up between you and your former spouse.
You will want to make sure you have documentation of anything you have contributed towards your child's activities in the months leading up to the mediation or court date. Some of these expenses may be counted toward your overall child support payment.
Make sure you have kept receipts or printouts of any financial contributions you personally make out of your own account towards your child's activities. Simply writing down the numbers will not provide enough evidence. You should also speak with your attorney to make sure you have the right types of documentation.
Using the above tips while trying to come up with a child support agreement with your former spouse could help bring about a fair and reasonable amount for you to pay each month. You should also consult with a child support law attorney for more information and to make sure you are following all required family court procedures.