Frequently Asked Questions
Many people aren't prepared for divorce, child custody cases, or family law issues. It is important to be advised on your specific case by a trusted attorney. To help you gather the right questions and learn more about the process of divorce, family law, child custody and support, and others, we have compiled some general questions and answers here.
My child is 5 years old, and my ex just filed for child support. Will I have to pay back child support payments?
Great question. The answer depends on how involved you have been to this point. If you have been paying child care expenses for the last 5 years (diapers, daycare, rent, etc.), your attorney can use that information to reduce your retroactive child support. The important thing is to work with your attorney to produce any and all records you can to prove your support over the years.
Is child support negotiable?
At the core, child support is really a contract between 2 families. In theory, 2 parents can agree to any arrangement, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. However, any agreement struck must be approved by the presiding judge for your case.
Can I agree with my ex to pay more child support than the court requires? Do we need to have the court approve our new agreement?
Absolutely, you can pay more child support than you are court-obligated to pay. Many times this presents itself with education expenses, extra-curricular activities and additional opportunities you want to provide for your child. In most cases, it is not necessary to amend the support agreement. If you modify the child support agreement through the courts, it will now mandate that you continue the additional payments. A better option is to keep accurate and detailed records in case you need them in the future.
On the flip side, if your ex has agreed to pay child support and an additional amount above the mandated child support for a specific purpose (such as private school, for example), it may be wise to amend the court documents to reflect the new payment amount in order to secure this payment legally as long as you need it.