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Getting a child support agreement

Divorcing Maryland parents have multiple options when it comes to obtaining child support. They can take part in informal negotiations with the assistance of their respective attorneys or use alternative dispute resolution proceedings that take place away from the court. No matter how an agreement is reached, it will likely still be necessary to obtain court approval to verify that it is in compliance with child support state regulations.

Using an attorney for informal negotiations is optional. Some parents may opt to conduct the negotiations themselves and then obtain legal advice before entering into a final written agreement. Others may prefer to have the attorneys take the lead.

Alternative dispute resolution entails the use of collaborative law or mediation. It can be a successful tool, but it relies on the extent to which the parents disagree about child support issues and if they are willing to work with one another to come to an accord.

ADR methods are typically less contentious and formal than traditional court proceedings. With the assistance of their attorneys, parents are able to make significant contributions to important child support decisions, rather than having to accept the decisions made by a judge. Once the judge approves the child support agreement, it becomes legally binding, and both parties are required to adhere to the terms of the agreement of face legal penalties.

A family law attorney may evaluate the factors surrounding a client's child support case and advise which legal avenues should be pursued to resolve conflicts. It is often better to come to an agreement in an informal setting rather than go through lengthy and expensive litigation.

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