Child support in a divorce or paternity case can be a heated and contested situation. This is why mediation in these matters is so very helpful. PhloxADR helps you separate the emotion, anger, hurt from logic so that both parties can find a resolution that benefits the child.
Most every state has a child support computation schedule that is used to calculate how much is owed by each parent and normally available on the state’s DHS website. As these are guideline not guarantees, these are debated by legal counsel for months costing you more money with every argumentative phone call.
Please note: A simple sliding scale for child support computation, is NOT a real chart. There are additions and deductions which raise and lower your support level.
Judges will normally sign off on any mediated divorce or paternity, if the agreement is equitable and child support is reasonable. The guidelines are there to give you an idea of what is considered reasonable but we can customize it, again within reason.
We handle customized child support plans to help you manage child support and this allows you to feel more comfortable on what the money is spent toward.
You can’t restrict everything as child support is needed to pay for rent, food, clothes, etc. and if you have ever raised a child, it’s never enough regardless of how much. So, we work out an amount both parents can live with and create a customized plan for you to follow.
Parents with higher incomes may consider one amount for child support and an additional amount that goes to a college fund or home school fund. As long as the child will have their needs met there are options you can consider.
Things That Don't Work
I’m unemployed – Most judges and attorneys will calculate minimum wage for either parent as their part of child support. This will normally be assessed from the day of separation or decree.
Quitting your job – This only works for a short time in an attempt to lower payments or postpones them. Many times this just runs up a tab and gets any bank accounts or jobs garnished. Bosses get annoyed when the day starts out with “Hi i’m from CSE, here my badge and a judicial order to see your records”.
Getting paid in Cash – Most people think cash is untraceable. If you are ever pictured buying lunch, going to a movie, out with the guys/gals or obtaining another car; you may run into problems. DHS costs your spouse, their friends / family or your new mad ex-whoever nothing. Same goes the other way, if the mother is paying child support.
57% of women are required to pay Child Support
Moving cities or states – Child support has enforcement nationwide and even internationally. You can be extradited without a paid return just to be ask: “How did you pay for the trip?”, “Your mom, OK you can go”, “By the way, who’s paying for your return?” This can get your mom served and attached to pay your child support, rare but it has happened.
More overnights less support – Through using the computation schedule this may work but think of your quality of life and the child’s quality of life. Would you want dropped off with someone else all the time? Many times this is denied due to work schedules and not being with the child. Just using a care taker may not work, even if it’s your family. Your the parent not someone else.
The judge won’t know – Largest mistake made. Judges who oversee family cases have seen every trick for years and know more tricks than the internet can post. Many of these judges spent years being divorce or child support enforcement attorneys.
Let's Be Reasonable
Child support mediation is not about enforcing some rule or law. We are not enforcement agents, attorneys in the case, judges hearing the matter or any tattletale.
We are here to work out an amicable resolution that gets the child’s needs met. We are here to open up options, think with you about solutions, weigh your BATNBest Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement / WATNWorst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, and see if we can find a solution.
The Bottom Line
Child Support will likely be ordered, if you cannot come to an agreement. While you are in mediation you are in control of that amount, timing, and method. We have helped create unique options that parents desired but they must be agreeable and they must be reasonable. We have seen very creative options over the years
You can Google the child support calculator for Oklahoma (or other state) housed on the state’s DHS website and see what they are showing.