Child Support Guidelines & Options

There are two options for filing for a divorce regarding how you and your partner will deal with the child support. You can either avail of the judicial remedy provided under the law or enter into a compromise agreement with your spouse which is the extra-judicial settlement.

Divorce cases necessarily involve settlements as to the conjugal properties of the husband and wife which they were able to acquire during the subsistence of a valid marriage. These proceedings may also include determination as to the value of child support and the corresponding liabilities of the parents. The court, in this type of cases, may also decree orders concerning child custody.

When it comes to filing a divorce case, you have two options with regard to how you and your partner will deal with the child support. You can either avail of the judicial remedy provided under the law or enter into a compromise agreement with your spouse which is the extra-judicial settlement. Whatever your choice is, there is a need to comply with the child support guidelines. In rendering a decision, the judge must take into consideration what is provided in the guidelines. The same rule applies to parties who are willing to settle without court intervention.

Nevertheless, the judge is permitted to deviate from the child support guidelines[1] in order to promote the best interest of the children. If the compliance with the guidelines will render the rights of children nugatory, then the court may choose to follow its own rules or other laid down jurisprudence even if these are not in accordance with the guidelines. In such cases, the judge is not acting with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It must be noted that for child support proceedings, the order of the court must yield to the highest benefit of the children.

Under the above-mentioned guidelines, the amount of support that a parent may be obligated to pay depends on his or her source of income. The court will only impose an obligation upon showing that the means of livelihood of the parent is sufficient to pay for the support and maintenance of the children. The obligor's annual income will be taken into consideration and it will be used for the computation of the final child support amount.

Child support cases may be heard in the main case for the petition for divorce or annulment. It may also be heard independently depending on when the affidavit is filed. As ruled by the Supreme Court in several cases, when it comes to children, their best interest must always be placed first. In issuing an order, the judge must see to it that all the facts and circumstances are verified to ensure that the interest of the children will be protected.

A child support agreement may also be drawn up between the parents. This is the extra-judicial way of settling the obligations of the mother and father with respect to their kids. The settlement between the parties must be duly notarized and authenticated in order to make it a public instrument. If you choose to deal with your spouse extra-judicially, it is still important that you hire the services of a lawyer. He or she will assist you in all the negotiations that you will enter with your partner. At the same time, the attorney will check if all the provisions in the agreement are beneficial on your part or not. Do not enter into any contract with your ex-husband or ex-wife without seeking legal counsel from an attorney. You can talk to a good attorney who specializes in handling child support cases. He or she can give a good explanation about child support guidelines. The attorney can also give you a sound legal advice on how to deal with your other spouse when it comes to the legal matters involved. Take note that you can settle this kind of controversy judicially or extra-judicially depending on the willingness of your ex-husband or ex-wife to deal with the child support.


References: [1]Child Support Guidelines


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