What is a Voluntary Child Support Agreement?

Divorce is a difficult time for both parties but not as difficult as it was for the children involved. Children usually suffer the brunt of a divorce even if the whole procedure is amicable. What comes to mind when a divorce is finalized is child support. In circumstances where everything is being done through the courts, child support issues are handled easily. The judge decides how much child support is to be paid and there is no way that either party can negate it.

However, through the court is not the only way child support agreements are made. Parents can get into a voluntary child support agreement to handle this. This is usually done out of court. The rigmarole of courts is painful and if both parents agree, a voluntary child support agreement can be drawn which charts out the terms of how much and when child support will be paid.

Technically, a voluntary child support agreement is written on the same specifications as the one which is vetted by the court. The only difference is that there is no legal involvement. A child support agreement of this sort is usually charted out when parents divorce on amiable terms and know that both ends will honor the agreement to the end. The best way to go about it is to ask a lawyer on how to draw up one – better still, get the lawyer to draw one up for you so that you do not leave anything out. You can write one yourself too and have a lawyer look it over. Since you have separated with your significant other on good terms, you wouldn’t want to go back on your word so writing one yourself is not such a bad idea.

Let us now come to the actual agreement. A voluntary child support agreement will begin with the custom:

This agreement is being made on behalf of Mr. Murdoch who has agreed to pay child support…

Once you are done with the opening, concentrate on specifics. Names of the father, mother and child or children are mentioned and a monthly amount is stated, along with a particular date by which it has to be paid. The content will also include how the amount must be used – school fees and daily living costs are usually the reason child support is paid but you may want to mention a certain amount to be put away in a savings account to secure the child’s future.

The agreement must then be signed by both parents and a witness. One thing to remember is that a voluntary child support agreement is not recognized by the law and has no legal value in a court. So if either party decides to go back on their word, there isn’t much you can do.

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