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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Reaching child support agreements

Child support is one of the big issues that will need to be settled in many Tennessee divorces. Parents may handle this in one of three ways. They can resolve the matter between themselves through informal negotiations. Alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation may also be used to reach child support agreements. Finally, people can choose to have the judge determine the amount according to the state's statutory guidelines.

Many divorces are able to be resolved informally through negotiations. When child support is agreed to as one of the issues in the divorce, the child support agreement will be included in the overall divorce settlement agreement. After drafting the document, both parties sign it and file it with the court for the court to review.

Alternative dispute resolution procedures using mediation may also be a way for parties to reach child support agreements. With this process, both spouses meet with a mediator who is trained in facilitating agreements. If an agreement is reached at mediation, the mediator will put into a document for the parties to submit to the court. Whether a child support agreement is reached informally or through mediation, the court will still need to approve it.

Courts review child custody and support agreements by considering whether or not they are in the best interests of the child. If the court determines that a proposed agreement is in the child's best interests, the judge will approve it, and the agreement will become a part of the court's orders in a divorce. If people are unable to reach agreements through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution, they may need to litigate the issues.

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