Voluntary Child Support: What Does This Mean?

Whenever parents file for divorce, several issues concerning the changes that the family will undergo are included in the discussion. Divorce lawyers often deal with parents who fight over child custody including child and spousal support. There is no denying that money becomes an issue whenever divorce cases happen. Sadly, there is no way out of it. Unless you are will to sit down and discuss all the details of the money you need to set aside for the family, a peaceful agreement of these issues will never be possible.

Voluntary child support agreements are one of the things that you must carefully consider getting into with your spouse. Despite the failed marriage, both spouses still want to make sure that they stay as good parents to their children; thus, the voluntary child support states each parent’s responsibility to their child particularly concerning child support. This agreement also includes payments from primary education up until the college level.

What does it mean to sign a voluntary child support agreement? The basic premise is that you agree with your former spouse that all the points raised in the agreement shall be shouldered by you and your spouse when the time comes. In particular, it might include the following:

  • Definition of the type of college education that will be covered. This will depend on how parents see the potential of their children. They may be explicitly specified if the support will include public or private education, trade or technical school and the like.
  • Definition of all the expenses that the child support will cover the tuition, travel, book and other living expenses that may come with pursuing a college degree.
  • Definition of how payment shall be made.
  • Definition of the child’s responsibility and the parent’s expectations covering expenses incurred in college.

All of these may be under the conditions that both parents would set for the child. They may require the child to maintain a certain grade average to ensure that the child would not take advantage of the situation. After all, the agreement aims to ensure their future and not to make them feel like the divorce had made their parents forget about them or their needs.

Even if the parents go through the divorce fighting, courts will always honor the voluntary child support agreement that parents signed. All agreements must be explained to both spouses and the elements that cover each one should be clarified before the finality of the agreement. All of the agreed points shall be enforceable by law; thus, if a parent fails or refuses to provide when the time comes, a family lawyer can very well use it against him or her in court.