Before you start
Before making an agreement, read about how child support works. You'll want to know things like:
How child support is calculated
How much child support should be paid each month
What the judge considers in order to make a decision if you don’t agree
It may also help you to try to come up with agreement about child custody and parenting time at the same time, but you don’t have to. Your court’s Family Law Facilitator can explain custody and parenting time and may be able to help you write up an agreement for child support and custody.
Decide on the amount of child support
You’ll need to discuss and agree on these things:
Share the amount of your monthly income
You will need to tell each other how much money you make each month before taxes. The easiest way to do this is show each other proof, like copies of your recent paystubs.
Figure out the court's amount of “guideline” support
A judge will only approve an agreement if they know how much child support would be if you went to court. This is called “guideline” child support. You can agree to a different amount but still need to tell the court the “guideline” number. To calculate child support, use the child support calculator.
Agree who will pay for health insurance
In addition to child support, the parties must also agree which parent will be responsible for health insurance for your children. Health insurance is required if it is available at a reasonable cost.
Agree who will pay for other expenses
In addition to child support, the parties can also agree how the parents will pay for other things like child care, uncovered medical expenses, and travel expenses for visitation.
Once you agree on all these issues, you need to write up the agreement.
Write up the agreement
You can use Stipulation to Establish or Modify Child Support Order (form FL-350) for your agreement. You both have to sign page 3 of the form.
If you want child support to be taken directly out of one of the parent’s paycheck, you will need to file another form called an Income Withholding Order (form FL-195).If the local child support agency (LCSA), in some counties called the Department of Child Support Agency, is part of your case, their attorney will need to sign the agreement. They will also take care of processing an Income Withholding Order.
Your court’s Family Law Facilitator may be able to help you write up your agreement.
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Sign and make copies of the agreement
Both you and the other parent need to sign and date the agreement. Then you need to make 2 copies of the agreement.
Take your agreement to get the judge’s signature and pay fee
Unlike other forms, agreements don’t get filed right away. A judge has to sign the agreement before it can be filed. You will generally need to pay a filing fee.
Ask a clerk or the Family Law Facilitator:
Where to bring the agreement to get a judge’s signature
How you get the signed agreement back
What your fee will be
It may take several days to get the signed copy back. You may be able to pick it up in person or have the court mail it to you.
There is usually a fee to file an agreement. The fee is generally $20. If one of you hasn't paid their first filing fee ($435-450) that person may also need to pay this fee. If you can't afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
Give a copy of the agreement to the other parent
When you get back the signed agreement:
Check it has a judge’s signature and stamp in the top corner saying it was filed.
Give the other parent their copy of the signed and filed agreement for their records.
Once your agreement is filed, it’s a court order. This means you and the other parent must follow the order.