Divorce proceedings may have differences by state when it comes to statutes and procedures, but they are pretty much the same when it comes to the amount of conflict between divorcing parties. New Jersey is no exception to such situations. NJ child support cases, in particular, can be extremely heated when both parties have different opinions on what is just and fair. If you’re experiencing such an impasse, here are a few helpful tips on efficiently negotiating with your ex:
Be honest about your finances
Don’t falsify the state of your finances during the negotiations, as this is the only way you can get to an accurate and fair child support agreement. Present evidence to support your claims, such as tax returns and pay stubs, and draft a budget that clearly defines the family expenses that need tending to.
Don’t involve the children
Don’t let your children witness their parents arguing over who gives what and how much. While they are the primary beneficiaries of these proceedings, they do not have to be party to contentious discussions. This simply does not make for a healthy family outlook. If you have custody, you don’t need to let the children know how much your ex is giving you. You also should never course the money through the kids.
Prepare for future increase of expenses
The Family Education website advises that, in determining child support, you should allow for changes (often increases) in the cost-of-living expenses:
“You should agree on a mechanism for calculating future cost-of-living increases for this payment. You can base your formula on the cost-of-living increase as determined by your state’s department of agriculture or other indices, or if you prefer, you can base it on increases in your incomes. Because most people prefer not to reveal their income each year, it’s common to base such payment increases on outside, objective criteria.”
Take extraneous expenses into account
Aside from daily living expenses, there are other costs worth considering, because they are just as important to your children’s development as their basic needs. These include education expenses, day care or babysitting and medical costs, birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvah, and car expenses. While these are not specifically included in state guidelines for child support, they should still be factored in, as they can greatly affect the child’s well-being.
Negotiating child support is not always be easy, but if both parents put their child’s welfare in mind, they can get through the process as smoothly as possible. The services of reputable NJ divorce lawyers like those in Romanowski Law Offices, can be very helpful in objectively reaching an amicable settlement. Issues, after all, are just temporary; but being family is permanent.
(Source: Child Support: What’s Fair?, Family Education)