Why Negotiating Child Support In Virginia Is A Bad Idea
Parents have a legal duty to provide for their children. However, when they live separately and apart, child support payments can be the subject of much dispute. In some cases, parents are able to negotiate payments, without going to court and getting a formal child support order in place. Our child support attorney explains that, while your intentions may be good, this is generally a bad idea.
The Pitfalls of Negotiating Child Support Out Of Court
In the Loudoun County Family Court, matters impacting children and the rights and obligations of their parents have the potential to get highly contentious. In paternity proceedings and cases where a married couple has filed for a divorce, disputes over child custody are often complex and take significant amounts of time to resolve. Unfortunately, it is generally children who suffer the most in these situations.
To avoid potential problems, parents may try to negotiate their own child support agreements instead. This is often motivated by a desire to keep things civil and to be fair and reasonable regarding the amount paid. While it may seem like the best way to avoid disputes and remain on amicable terms with the other parent, it is generally a bad idea.
Some of the pitfalls associated with trying to negotiate child support payments on your own and not having a formal court order in place include:
- One of the parents is likely to pay less than what they actually should;
- Important expenses on behalf of the child, such as health care or school-related costs, may not be addressed;
- There is a greater potential for disputes to erupt between the parents, potentially resulting in non-payment;
- You have little legal recourse if the other parent either stops making payments or fails to pay the total amount owed.
The Benefits of Getting A Child Support Order In Virginia
If you have children and are considering a divorce or are unmarried, getting a formal child support order is the best way to protect the rights of both you and your child. Under the Virginia Code, child support is routinely addressed as part of paternity and divorce proceedings.
However, it is still possible to avoid having to argue the matter before a judge and in public court hearings. Our child support attorney can help you to negotiate a settlement based on state child support guidelines. A final agreement can then be presented to the judge for approval and a formal child support order can be put in place. The benefits of this include:
- Helps your child get the maximum amount allowed by law;
- Encourages prompt payments;
- Allows you to make modifications as needed;
- Allows for enforcement actions, including wage garnishment, asset seizure, and liens on property if the total amount is not paid.
Contact Our Virginia Child Support Attorney Today
At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, we help you get the child support you are entitled to. To request a consultation with our child support attorney, call or contact us online today.