In many cases, one Minnesota parent may be required to pay child support to the other parent following a divorce. There are a few ways that parents can come to an agreement regarding child support. These include informal negotiations, out-of-court alternative dispute resolution proceedings and an order determined by a court.
Informal negotiations often work well for parents who are willing to work together. The ultimate goal is to come to a settlement agreement. Although parents often have attorneys to assist with this process, some parents may be able to come to an agreement on their own.
Alternative dispute resolution proceedings can also lead to a child support agreement. These include collaborative law and mediation. ADR proceedings may be particularly useful for parents who are having trouble working together but still need to resolve key issues related to child support. Even though ADR processes are more guided than informal negotiations, parents can still have a more active role in coming to a child support agreement, meaning both parties are more likely to be happy with the agreement. If no agreement can be reached, the parents could go through arbitration where a third party makes a decision after hearing both parents' sides, although this is relatively rare in these types of proceedings.
Regardless of what how parents reach a child support agreement, a court may still have to review the agreement to ensure that it is valid. Generally, the agreement needs to meet the state's child support guidelines, which take a number of factors into consideration,. If a court does not find a child support agreement valid, the parties' respective family law attorneys can review the agreement and make the appropriate changes.