James DeStefano Quoted In Real Simple Article, “Everything You Need To Know About Child Support.”May 17, 2021
Familiarize yourself with the law
Sure, you may have a lawyer or a mediator helping with child support negotiations, but it’s still important to understand the local laws that will impact the outcome.
“While each state handles child support differently, most states have a formula or calculation that they use to determine a basic child support award,” says attorney James DeStefano, counsel in the matrimonial and family law group at New Jersey-based Einhorn, Barbarito, Frost & Botwinick. “Educate yourself on what expenses are included in child support versus what expenses are not.”
Often, court websites in your state will have general information about child support, including forms and documents that must be completed if you choose to represent yourself in the case, says DeStefano. Court websites may also have links or forms designed to assist you in performing your own calculation of child support based on that state’s formula or a child support calculator.
You can also conduct online research to find your state’s law on child support. There are websites that provide summaries of state laws as well as links to specific state statutes that address the issue. Finally, you might also try looking up family law attorneys in your area, as often attorneys have blogs or other content on their websites that provide basic information.
While you’re doing all of this research, you’ll also want to become acquainted with when child support typically ends and what events constitute emancipation under the laws of your state.
“The better your understanding of the law, and the more prepared you are, the better the likelihood of negotiating a favorable resolution,” says DeStefano.
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