Tips for Negotiating and Paying Child Support in Dallas

August 31, 2020 Posted in Child Support

Negotiating and settling on a child support arrangement can be a contentious process, but it’s important to remember that child support comes down to what is best for your children. While you may view child support as an opportunity to ensure that both you and your child maintain the lifestyle you’re accustomed to, you have to be realistic and reasonable in your negotiation and eventual settlement. Dividing your family will present new emotional and financial strains and you have to be prepared for the big changes that lie ahead. 

When negotiating your child support arrangements, it’s important to remember to not only agree upon an amount but a method of payment as well. If you’re struggling to identify healthy modes of communication with your soon-to-be former spouse, consider hiring a Dallas child support attorney to mediate the process and guide you toward a favorable resolution. 

Focus on the Child’s Needs Rather Than the Dollar Amount

Depending on your child’s age, there are likely a variety of standards and activities that have been set for their health and well-being. Attending private school or playing sports or engaging in extracurricular activities are things your child has grown accustomed to and should be able to maintain even if his or her parents are getting divorced. As such, you should go into negotiations with a clear picture of how much these activities cost, and outline how much support will be needed in order for the child to continue.

If your child isn’t yet old enough to engage in these activities but you’d like them to be something they participate in the future, consider putting together a proposed budget for future activities so you can arrange for these expenses in the long term. Another tip is to arrange it so that the parent who will be paying for these expenses makes their payment directly to the provider or school, rather than making a cash payment to one parent. This way, they get the sense that their money is directly benefiting the child, instead of going into the hands of their former spouse. 

Our Dallas Child Support Attorney Can Help You Be Realistic

While the lifestyle you once had should be maintained if possible, it’s important to be realistic when you’re making a demand about the amount of child support you expect to receive from your former spouse. Establishing two households will undoubtedly affect the budget, travel, and household expenses, and you need to be prepared for a financial strain even in a situation where your former spouse is a high-earner. As such, consider how you can approach your initial demand in a manner that doesn’t make your spouse’s jaw drop - prepare a realistic budget and maintain the standard of living in your requests, rather than using the negotiation as an opportunity to augment your spending. 

Think About How Payment Will Work

The Texas Family Code allows child support payments to be made either by periodic, annuity, or lump-sum payments. Periodic payments would allow for the payments to be made by the week or by the month; annuity payments would deliver a fixed sum of money each year; while a lump sum means one parent would make a large, one-time payment that the other parent will then decide how to administer over time. 

Depending on the circumstances of your marriage, you may wish to consider which option makes financial sense and would allow you the least amount of communication with your former spouse over how your budget is managed.

Speak to Our Dallas Child Support Attorney Today for Assistance

If you have questions or concerns about your child support issue, contact our Dallas child support attorney as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your situation.