It may be possible for an Ohio parent to negotiate a child support agreement without the need to go to court. In some cases, alternative dispute resolution methods are used to get both sides to come to a reasonable solution. It is also possible for parents to negotiate by themselves with or without the help of an attorney. Regardless of how an agreement is reached, it must be approved by a court to ensure that adequate support is provided.
If parents choose to use a collaborative law approach to resolving a child support dispute, they will work together with their attorneys to come to an agreement. A mediator may also help a couple work together to overcome their differences in a timely manner. However, there is no requirement for either side to actually reach an agreement, and there is no obligation to implement any suggestions offered by a mediator.
It is also possible to work with an arbitrator who will hear evidence and then issue a ruling. Once a settlement is reached, it will ideally be written down and included with a larger divorce settlement. The agreement should account for when and how payments will be made and for how long support will last. It should also account for how much each payment will be.
Typically, a child support agreement must meet state guidelines regardless of how it was reached. If a parent fails to adhere to the terms of a child support agreement or a child support order, he or she may be subject to consequences such as wage garnishment or jail time. Those who need help meeting their obligations may ask for a modification to an existing order. A child support modification may occur if circumstances warrant a change in payment amount or frequency. An attorney could help secure a modification.