Massachusetts parents who are divorcing will have an additional aspect to negotiate: child support. While the ideal situation is one where the support amount is reached in an amicable environment, that is not always the case. However, there are many things parents can do to make the process a positive one.

Although divorce is an emotional endeavor, child support is not about the parents and their relationship but about what is best for the child and how to pay for it. It is always best to keep emotions under control and avoid speaking negatively about the process in order to have less impact on the children involved. As well, the amount of child support should be based on real costs of parenting, including any predicted unexpected expenses related to raising a child. Child support amounts should include things such as medical bills and medication, insurance costs, educational expenses, payments for hobbies and interests, child care expenses, cost of living adjustments and even tax implications.

In order to make this work, parents should share their information, including any legal information they are aware of, so they can work together to arrive at a fair amount. Some experts encourage parents to privately negotiate support but creating a legal, binding document outlining what the amount is and what the payments will cover is important. Another good way to ensure that child support payments continue to serve the children is to schedule a yearly review of both parents’ finances as well as the children’s needs so any adjustments can be made. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, child support lawyers may be able to help during this process.

During negotiations, parents might also receive additional assistance from a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer may provide guidance about what should be included in child support payments and how to reach a fair settlement.