Can child support agreements be made outside the court?

| Oct 24, 2021 | Firm News |

Litigation around child support can be a costly affair. Therefore, handling child support issues out of court can save you time and money. 

Should you and your co-parent wish to avoid an expensive and lengthy legal process, you may want to resolve your child support arrangements privately by agreeing on things just between the two of you. However, you will still need a judge to sign off on any agreement that you make

Why do you need a judge’s approval?

Child support agreements made between you and your co-parent are not legally binding. This means that if your ex fails to meet their obligations, you have no legal recourse. In essence, the agreement is legally nonexistent, which is why you need a judge’s approval for it to be considered a valid court order. 

Before approving the child support agreement, the court will review it, and if the terms are fair, the judge will sign off on it, thus rendering it legally binding. Both parents must meet their agreed-to obligations once this occurs. They may face legal exposure if they don’t. 

Is your co-parent violating child support orders?

If your co-parent is not meeting their child support obligations, then you may take them to court. The judge can issue a wage assignment that automatically deducts child support from the defaulting parent’s paycheck. In addition, failure to adhere to court orders may amount to contempt of court which can see them get fines and possible jail time for repeat violations.

If certain circumstances led to the default, then the child support orders could be modified to accommodate the new changes, such as a pay cut or a job loss. If this factor isn’t at play, both parents must discharge their parental responsibilities, especially regarding finances. You need to make informed decisions toward fixing the situation