Monday, February 18, 2013

Boise Family Law Attorneys - Idaho Child Support - Can You Agree to a Different Amount?

Child Support in Idaho
As a Boise Family Law Attorney one very common question I get is how is child support determined?  As I have noted many times before, Idaho uses the Idaho Child Support Guidelines to establish child support.

Child Support by Agreement
Once people understand this they want to know if they can agree to an amount different than established by the guidelines.  In general you can but you must rationalize the deviation.  For example, if one party pays all the transportation, they may be able to show the court why the monthly obligation should be adjusted to an amount lower than what has been established by the guidelines. 

Sometimes people want to include payments in child support that actually don't belong there.  An example of where this can happen is if one spouse feels that they should pay more than what is required by the guidelines so that the other spouse can have help paying the mortgage.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I would caution against this type of inclusion and a judge may actually not allow it at all anyway.

Child Support by Contract
In a divorce the court has jurisdiction over the parties, their children and their property.  When you make an agreement by stipulation or contract the court may determine that it does not have jurisdiction over your agreement.  What does this mean for you?  If you take the above example of including more money in the monthly child support obligation for the ex-spouse to pay the mortgage, you may not be able to modify that amount if the court determines it doesn't have jurisdiction.  This means that once you feel it is no longer necessary to pay the ex-spouse additional monies for the house payment, you won't be able to modify your contract.

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I recommend that you keep your child support obligation free of external agreements and amounts not contemplated by the guidelines.  If you absolutely feel it necessary to provide more money for your ex-spouse you can have a separate agreement where you agree to pay money to them.  In that contract, it would be an absolute necessity to create provisions that would allow you to revisit and modify the contract so you not unnecessarily bound for a lengthy duration.

If you are seeking a divorce or child support modification and you need to speak to a Boise Family Law Lawyer, please give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.