Relationships sometimes just don’t work. Even the presence of a child cannot save a marriage or a de facto relationship that is already dead. However, regardless of the state of the relations between the parents, they are still obligated to provide for their children.
The ideal situation is to settle the matter of child support between the parents. To provide for the children does not always require resorting to court action. The parents can agree among themselves and draw up an agreement on how to provide for their child. This is actually better, less stressful and expensive for the family. The child is not drawn in an unnecessary legal battle between the parents, thus, sparing him/her the trauma and preventing additional distress that has already been caused by the break-up of his parents.
If the parents cannot agree, there is an important date to remember: October 1, 1989. Assistance from the Child Support Agency may be sought by parents who separated after October 1, 1989 or if their children were born after said date. In this case, they need not proceed to court to settle the child support dispute.
If the children are born before October 1, 1989 or the parents separated before that date, the Federal Circuit Court is the proper venue to settle the child support issue. The Family Law Act provides that courts may refer to published researches about maintenance of children in determining the appropriate child support.
In all instances, legal advice must be sought by the parents. Family law practitioners can guide the parents in executing an agreement to make sure that all bases are covered. Lawyers are especially adept at providing a fool-proof and long-term agreement, one that will provide even for the future of the child. By seeking legal advice early, court intervention may even be avoided. Child support is not always the subject of a legal action. Still, in some cases it is unavoidable and it becomes even more important to hire the services of a lawyer who can competently represent a parent in court.
The Family Law Act mandates that parents jointly share the duties and responsibilities in caring for their children. In whatever way the child support may be obtained, whether through private agreement or court action, parents must always remember the welfare and best interest of their child.