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Even the most amicable divorce negotiations can quickly become contentious when discussing child support. It is not uncommon for one parent to be willing to spend a large part of their income when they are a custodial parent, but to protest when a court orders them to make a payment each month. Often times, the parent that has been ordered to pay child support may attempt to come to an alternate agreement with the other party rather than paying child traditional support. One of the most common requests made by a non-custodial parent is to pay the mortgage instead of paying child support. While this may seem like a great idea at first, it is important to carefully weigh all aspects of this proposal before making a decision.
For starters, it is completely legal for the non-custodial parent to offer to pay something in place of child support. In a friendly divorce where both parties seek to avoid court costs as much as possible, it is not uncommon for this to happen. The reason behind this request can stem from a number of factors that may not have anything to do with seeking to avoid paying child support. A number of families find that these options are good ways to maintain a familial connection even after the marriage has been dissolved. In other cases, there may be a financial benefit to paying the mortgage instead of paying child support. This is especially true in instances where the amount of child support ordered would be more than the amount of the mortgage payment.
Keep in mind that the non-custodial parent can not force you to agree to this compromise. Regardless of what they tell you, there is no law that mandates that you must accept any form of alternate child support. The natural course of action following a divorce is that a parent will pay for the support of a child. There is no court out there that will force you to accept anything different.
If you feel that your former spouse is pressuring you into this type of arrangement, there are options available to you. Start by speaking with your divorce attorney to let them know that you are feeling pressured and want it to stop. If that fails, you may need to take the matter directly to court. Although you may want to avoid a long-drawn-out divorce court battle, it is important to remember that this system best equipped to protect the rights of you and your child. If you feel that a traditional child support arrangement is the right choice for you and your family, going to court may be the best way to achieve that goal.
It is also important to be mindful that you do not have to live with a mortgage arrangement if it does not work for you and your family. In fact, you can take the matter to court at any time and they will assist you in getting the support that your child deserves. This option is available even in cases where you initially agreed to accept something else. Family law is standardized and courts are generally more inclined to work within your state’s guidelines than to uphold an informal arrangement made between you and a former spouse. Although this process may be a bit complicated, it is possible to get out of this arrangement if you find that it is not in the best interest of your child.
As the custodial parent, it is important to remember that you are in control when it comes to child support negotiations. If your ex requests to pay the mortgage rather than making child support payments, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of making this agreement. If you feel that this arrangement would be in the best interests of you and your family, it is your right to accept the compromise. To the opposite end, if you do not feel that this solution works for you, no one can force you to accept it. Standard child support guidelines exist to protect you from becoming a victim of someone else’s influence or preferences. If you want to ensure that your child gets everything that they are entitled to, a standard agreement is usually the way to go. No matter which option you choose, remember to always seek the advice of an experienced attorney. They can listen to the details of your case and provide solid advice that can help you move towards a brighter future.