Some parents are able to work out a support agreement on their own. They can use the Child Support Guidelines to find out how much support a judge would probably order. The paying parent will have to give true and complete information about his or her income.
One parent should get a lawyer to put the agreement in writing. The other parent should get a different lawyer to check it. That way, each parent will be able to make sure the agreement says what they intended, and that it protects their rights and their children’s rights, before they sign it.
Other parents need some help to work out a support agreement. They can go to a mediator who will meet with both of them and help them work out an arrangement that they both can accept. The mediator does not offer legal advice. An agreement reached with the help of a mediator should still be taken to each parent’s lawyer before they sign it. Then it should be filed with the court.
Parents who cannot agree about support payments should get legal help. Each parent should hire a separate lawyer. The lawyers may be able to negotiate support terms that are acceptable to both parents. If not, they will go to court and ask a judge to decide. The judge will make a court order saying how much child support must be paid.