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Payment of child support through informal negotiations -- Part I

In Tennessee, as in most other states in the country, child support is normally the obligation of the non-custodial parent. The child support payment can be determined in one of three ways. In the first method, the parents come to an agreement about child support payment in front of an attorney. The child support payment can also be agreed upon at an out-of-court Alternate Dispute Resolution proceeding. Finally, child support can also be ordered by the court.

In this blog post, we will discuss how child support can be paid through informal negotiations. An informal negotiation can only happen if parents agree to settle their differences and resolve all matters related to child support. They should agree about the child support payment amount, how frequently payments should be made and how long the child support payment should last. An attorney may or may not be present at the time of these negotiations. If an attorney is not present, then a couple may decide on the child support amount and then have it drawn up by the attorney.

Negotiations will differ in many cases. However, the end result is a written agreement, entered into by both parents. This written agreement is referred to as a settlement agreement. In some child support cases, the agreement is part of a bigger divorce or dissolution agreement.

This child support agreement is still considered informal and has to be shown to a judge. The judge will give the final approval after reviewing what the child's parents have agreed upon conforms to the state's guidelines. The judge may also have an informal discussion about the child support agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support by Agreement," Accessed on June 9, 2015

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