If you are in need of a sample child support agreement, you are likely dealing with a recent or unfolding divorce. When parents divorce, an order or agreement as to child support and child custody must be made. Once a child support agreement is established and put into writing, both parents must sign it or contest it in court. In most cases, a judge makes the final decision as to a support agreement, but a judge will take into consideration (and likely grant) agreements reached independently by the parties. There are some ways in which you can keep your support agreement and other divorce issues out of court. Discuss these options with your attorney to learn more.
Child support agreements can also be made between couples who have children out of marriage.
Child Support Agreements
A child support agreement cannot waive the rights of a child to support and care. Before approving a child support agreement, the judge may question the parents to ensure that the agreement is clear to both parties and was not signed under fraud or duress. The court may grant the agreement if it is in line with local guidelines and does not impair the rights of the child or children.
In cases where the agreement deviates from state guidelines, the reason for the deviation must be outlined in the support agreement. The following elements may be required to justify a support agreement that does not comply with local standards that have been set:
- A statement that the parents are aware of the Child Support Standards Act;
- A statement that the parents are aware of state child support guidelines;
- The amount of child support that would have been ordered if state child support guidelines were employed; and
- An explanation as to why the state child support guidelines were not utilized.
Because the state law will be different in each state, it is wise to get the advice of a local professional in preparing a child support agreement. (See also Child Support Problems: Requesting a Writ of Execution).
Getting Legal Advice
If you need help drafting a child support agreement or some other family law agreement, getting the help of an experienced professional is important. This agreement will result in a contract if you sign it, obligating you in the future. Making sure that it is properly executed and fairly represents your rights is essential. An attorney can draft agreements for you and advise you of your rights in your custody and support situation.