When two California parents are faced with issues to resolve regarding financial provisions for their children, either in divorce or even if they have never been married, they may wonder if it is possible to make an agreement without going to court. While the answer depends on various issues, it is true that many parents accomplish their goals without litigation. There are typically several ways to do this.
Mediation and collaborative law are two alternative dispute resolution methods that allow parents to settle child support issues out of court. Both methods are meant to be nonconfrontational. They are also usually less expensive than litigation.
High priority topics regarding child support agreements typically include payment amount, payment frequency and duration of payments. Parents are free to come up with their own plan. However, a concerned parent may find it more beneficial to use alternative dispute resolution methods. Negotiations and finalization of any agreement reached tend to run more smoothly when a parent asks an experienced attorney to provide ongoing support.
California has its own child support guidelines. No matter which legal method a parent chooses to reach an agreement, the court must approve the finalized plan. Once the court approves an agreement and enters an order, both parents must fully adhere to the terms of it or risk being held in contempt of court. Seeking the help of an experienced family law attorney is a logical step to take when one's ultimate goals include protecting parental rights and children's best interests.