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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

How parents can create child support agreements

Tennessee parents who are getting a divorce come to a child support agreement in a variety of ways. In some cases, agreements may be made through informal talks between the parents on their own or with their respective attorneys present. However, it is also possible that agreements are made after taking part in mediation or other processes.

Some may find mediation more effective because it tends to be less adversarial. Mediation is led by a neutral party, and parents are allowed and encouraged to take an active role in the proceedings. This may allow parents to make key decisions about how to support their children as opposed to hoping a judge agrees with their points of view. Once an agreement is reached, it will ideally be put into writing and submitted to a judge for approval.

Once it is submitted, a judge will need to review it to ensure that it complies with state child support guidelines. Each parent may also be asked questions about the agreement to ensure that they understand what they are agreeing to. Assuming that the agreement was negotiated in good faith, it will be approved. Once that happens, it is legally binding on both parties.

Meeting the financial needs of a child is generally considered to be consistent in protecting that child's best interests. If a parent fails to make support payments, he or she may be subject to penalties such as fines or jail time. Parents who wish to have a child support order created or have it enforced might wish to talk with legal counsel about how to do so.

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