DEAR ELIZABETH: My ex-boyfriend and I just had a baby. We actually get along well, my problem is my family. They are trying to convince me to file child support on him but he has been paying for everything that our baby girl needs. We actually get along very well but its my family that keeps pushing me to try to file child support on him. What other alternatives do I have or does he have besides being on child support?
~WE GET ALONG MOM
DEAR WE GET ALONG MOM: First let me say, I am glad that you get along with your ex and you are open to peaceful alternatives rather than running straight for enforcement of child support. A Mediated agreement is a great option for new parents to avoid the drama and draining emotion of filing child support on your child's parent. In a mediated child custody agreement, you can determine and address a multitude of items such as:
how to receive payments
parenting time (visits) - schedule
an agreed financial savings plan for your child(ren)
and so much more! If you get along, you can sit down with a great mediator who can walk you through a process to ensure that you as parents in the future continue to get along. This will be so beneficial to your child. If at any time in the future there are issues between you as parents, you do not have to worry about parenting details because you have already worked out a multitude of issues together while your child is young and you can follow the agreement.
In addition, in the future if you ever need to make changes you can mediate those changes cost-effectively instead of have to deal with the unregulated Family Court system. Remember Family Court (where child support is enforced) is a court of discretion, that means the Judge has the power to determine everything dealing with the upbringing of your child and even your finances. Avoid the drama and come to an agreement on parenting of your own child.
This will help with the relationship also with your family because it sounds like they care for you and are protective of you, so for you to have a legally binding agreement may alleviate fears that they may possess. Many times people do not realize a mediated agreement can be enforced in a court of law if there is ever a need. If you have any further questions you can schedule a Family Court Ombudsman session and I can assist you!