Child Custody / Child Support Mediation
Sometimes mediation can be helpful when addressing possible changes in co-parenting (child custody) or child support. I’ve provided this mediation for many couples. Usually a single mediation meeting is all that’s required. Rarely are more than two required.
It’s not possible legally to set in stone either of these two areas. The law requires leaving open the possibility to change the current arrangements (or court order) when there has been a significant change of circumstances. This is because co-parenting arrangements and child support are meant always to be in the best interests of the children rather than what would simply be stable for the parents.
Sometimes the parents who want to change co-parenting arrangements and/or child support were never married. Other parents were married, are now divorced and one or both parents would like to change the provisions in the divorce judgment.
Usually when I help parents work out revised agreements, I clearly document everything for them. And I suggest that they each sign the agreement document. If there are prior court order(s), it may be wise to file this with the court. Then the new agreements can legally supersede what was previously the order of the court. However, this is optional.
Some parents who were never married have never involved the court system at all as regards the child(ren) they had together.
However, if the court has been involved, and there is an existing child support order, it’s important to be aware that it is binding until the court has agreed otherwise (or the child is now old enough that child support is no longer payable). So if a revision to court-ordered child support has been agreed, it’s normally a good idea to file it with the court. Then it can supersede the prior order.
It may be helpful to run a new Guideline Child Support calculation when considering a new child support agreement. I can do this for you. The court will want to see the new calculated figure when approving the new child support agreement.