When you and your spouse split up, there is bound to be a degree of tension – with some couples experiencing more than others. Although you may not be able to avoid this, you may have more important things to consider: your kids.
That’s why it’s so important to come together to arrange a beneficial child maintenance agreement.
When you split up, it’s important to remember that you still have something in common: your kids. You only want the best for them – and that’s true for your ex too. So ensuring their financial and stability is one of the most crucial steps to take after a divorce.
So how can you work together to make child maintenance as straightforward for you and your kids as possible?
How To Reach a Child Maintenance Agreement That Benefits Your Children
Put yourself in their shoes
As difficult as your divorce has been for you, it’s likely been worse for your kids. So put yourself in their shoes and think about how they’re feeling. If you can, encourage your former partner to do the same.
When thinking about working together to ensure financial stability for your children, it could help to imagine what they’re going through. They will obviously have fears and concerns so gaining an insight into what they’re thinking about can help you to put them at ease.
You should think about the way your kids see your ex. Realizing that they still have a strong attachment to that person could help you see them in a more positive light. This could help when it comes to discussions about child support.
Talk with your kids
You and your former spouse should sit down with your kids and let them know exactly what’s going on. Make sure they understand that the divorce isn’t their fault. Then find out what they’re thinking about everything.
Children will remember how you make them feel. So assure them that you’ll both always be there for them and that it’s totally understandable that they’ll be upset. Let them know that crying is okay and that they don’t have to hide their feelings.
Letting them know that they’re going to be okay financially will also help reassure them that even though this is a tumultuous time, you’re going to try to keep things as stable as you possibly can.
Keep disagreements for private conversations
You don’t want your kids to see you fighting with their other parent. This will only upset them. They love you and they love your ex. So it’s up to you to ensure that you keep meetings with your ex as civil as possible when the kids are present.
If you have to have it out with them, make sure you do it in private. Arrange to meet somewhere without the kids or talk to them over a private phone call. Just make sure you check that the kids aren’t eavesdropping when you do so.
Child maintenance agreements can be fraught with tension so it’s understandable that you might end up disagreeing about them. But it’s vital to ensure you can keep any disagreements between the two of you.
Agree on a fair figure
When it’s time for child support arrangements, it can be tempting to demand more than necessary or try to pay less than you should. But you’ll only end up hurting the very people child maintenance was established to protect.
There are a few factors to think about for these agreements. For the non-custodial parent, net income is taken into account. The number of children is also considered, as are the number of overnight visits with the non-custodial parent and the level of expenditure on the kids.
A fair figure is enough to pay for what the kids need, while not negatively affecting the non-custodial parent’s life. There are formulas you can use to calculate what you think is fair, or you can simply come to an agreement between you.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to remember that it’s being done for the kids. Setting up a child maintenance agreement after divorce can be challenging but you are both going to have to get past that and work together to ensure the best outcome for your kids.