Making and Modifying Child Support Agreements

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If you’re getting divorced, or breaking up with the parent of your child, then you may be wondering about child support.

In short, you and your former partner will have to come to an agreement about child support, as well as child custody and other issues affecting your children. The document that forms the basis of this agreement is called the parenting plan. In the parenting plan, you will lay out your plan for child custody and child support, and explain the reasoning behind your decisions. The court will evaluate this document to determine whether they believe the decisions you have made are in the best interests of the child.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”741″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

What if you and your former partner cannot agree on the terms of the parenting plan?

If you’re facing divorce, you should consider collaborative divorce. Through the collaborative process you and your former partner will have the opportunity to work out a solution without the pressure and adversarial environment of litigation — and you’ll save time and money doing it. You might also consider mediation if you and your former partner are having a hard time coming to an agreement on child support. A skilled mediator will help keep the discussion focused on a mutually beneficial solution to your problems, rather than on interpersonal differences and conflict.

Child Support Worksheets

The amount of support is recorded on the parenting plan, but the state also offers a series of worksheets to help you determine what that figure should be. They are interactive and online. If you need them, head over to the New Mexico Courts’ website.

Modifying Child Support Agreements

As children grow, their needs change. Likewise, parents change jobs, remarry, and their incomes change. Consequently, the terms of child support often need to be modified. However, the court does not want child support agreements to be changed too often. For this reason, they have a few stipulations on when the amount of support can be changed. First, it must have been at least a year since the agreement began. Second, it must constitute what the court refers to as a material change in circumstances. In child support cases, this generally means that the amount of support must change by at least 20% in the revised calculation.

If you’re going through a divorce or want to modify a child support agreement, you should speak to a qualified legal professional. PJ Hartman is a board certified family law specialist with over 15 years experience resolving family law issues in New Mexico. Give us a call today or send an email via our contact form.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]