If you're going through a divorce and you have mutual children with your ex, there's a good chance that one of you will need to pay child support. There are two ways through which a monthly amount of child support can be determined: by a judge, or through an amicable agreement between the two parents. If you and your ex have disagreements about how much child support should be paid, then you'll want to hire a divorce lawyer to help you through the legal process. However, if you both agree upon a monthly child support amount, you can forego this process by writing an agreement letter and submitting it to the court.
Step 1: Making Sure the Amount is Fair
The first thing you'll want to do is to make sure the agreed-upon child support amount between you and your ex is reasonable based on the Canadian Department of Justice's Federal child support guidelines. The step-by-step guide found on their website will walk you through the process of calculating your estimated parental contribution based on your annual income and other factors. Understand, however, that there are some provisions that may allow a payee to reduce the amount of child support paid.
Step 2: Explaining the Intent and Details in a Letter
Once you're sure that the amount you've agreed upon is fair by the Department of Justice's standards, the next step you'll want to take is to write the official letter. The letter doesn't need to be anything fancy and should cut right to the chase by beginning with a statement of your intent (the purpose of the letter). From there, you should include a paragraph outlining the details of your agreement with your ex; this should include the proposed monthly child support amount in addition to any provisions and/or requested visitation.
Once complete, send the letter to your ex. He or she should then write a response in agreement with your terms.
Step 3: Submitting Letters to the Court
After you have both letters (yours and your ex's response), all that's left to do is to make copies of them and file the originals with the court. Generally, you should submit the letters to the court that finalized your divorce and child custody arrangements. From there, a judge will review your letters and, provided that the proposed amounts are fair, will most likely approve of your child support agreement. Understand, however, that you or your ex may choose to go to court in an effort to amend your child support agreement at any time.
If you need a divorce lawyer for your case, contact Wise Scheible Barkauskas.
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