Dealing with Child Support Using Mediation

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Mediation is a useful form of alternative dispute resolution for parents, partners, and divorcing individuals who would prefer to retain as much control over their decisions as possible, without leaving orders completely in the hands of the courts. Mr. Shapiro works as a child support lawyer, custody attorney, divorce lawyer, collaborative professional, and mediator to ensure that his office has a range of options to choose from when coming to agreements about the future of a family dynamic.

Ultimately, divorce and separation are never easy processes, but when children are involved, the concept becomes increasingly complex, because parties need to make decisions that can preserve the comfort and safety of a child. Mr. Shapiro often finds that many of his clients that may come to him in search of a child custody lawyer or divorce attorney decide that they would prefer to use mediation instead, as a method of maintaining some level of relationship with their partner and keeping child disruption to a minimum. If a couple wants to use mediation, however, the couple must meet with Mr. Shapiro together as when he acts as a mediator Mr. Shapiro is neutral between the couple. He does not give individual legal advice to either side.

Child Support and Mediation

Mr. Shapiro's job as a mediator isn't to tell parties what decisions they should come to on the behalf of their children. However, his experience as a divorce lawyer and child support attorney often means that he can offer useful advice on which agreements the courts may see as being in the "best interests" of the children or child. Usually, during the mediation process, Mr. Shapiro will discuss the complex nuances of child support and other concerns with the couple carefully, addressing everything from the child support guidelines currently in place in New York, to the elements that might cause a deviation in those guidelines. After all, though presumptive guidelines exist for child support, mediation doesn't necessarily require parents to focus on what a guideline level of support would be.

In Mediation, parents have the opportunity to choose a child support agreement that works for them. That means that while Mr. Shapiro can discuss guidelines with his clients based on the number of children and income, he can also ask the clients involved whether they have any ideas what a good child support agreement would be their case. Usually, this will mean looking at the budgets of both parties to ensure neither is left destitute by the decision. The parents involved need to be able to meet their financial obligations as well as supporting a child. Importantly, Mr. Shapiro will offer insights into child support guidelines whenever the parents want to hear them. If you do not want to discuss them straight away, then the conversation can begin in a different fashion.

Besides guidelines, some of the other issues that Mr. Shapiro will discuss with his clients during mediation may include the payment of child care, unreimbursed medical expenses, health insurance, life insurance, and whether or not the costs of higher education should be included. The more information a client can get about the issues addressed in child support orders, the more likely they are to come to an agreement about their needs.

Using Mediation to Address Child Support Issues

Child support is only one of the many concerns that individuals moving through a divorce will need to address when they're working with a mediator like Mr. Shapiro. Although he has a background as a child custody attorney and divorce lawyer, it's worth noting that when Mr. Shapiro works as a mediator, his aim is to ensure that he can assist both parents in coming to an agreement that works for both the children and the parents. With his insight, it's possible for clients to increase their chances that when an agreement is taken in front of a judge, it will be approved and transformed into an order.

There are many reasons why a client may prefer to use mediation as a strategy for discussing the issues that occur during a divorce. For instance, one reason is that mediation gives both sides of the couple an equal opportunity to voice their concerns and share opinions about the elements that need to be addressed. Although Mr. Shapiro's position as a divorce lawyer and child custody attorney gives him the background required to share valuable information with his clients, his job as a mediator is to make sure that both sides have a chance to discuss the information available to them as fairly as possible. This means that if one side takes fifteen minutes to discuss why they believe a certain amount is reasonable, the other side will receive the same opportunity to present their case regarding an alternative solution.

Importantly, while mediation is often a less aggressive and more amicable solution to making a child support agreement than litigation, arguments and disputes can still arise. It's Mr. Darren Shapiro's job to limit disruption where possible, implementing ground rules that keep the conversation flowing as calmly as possible. For example, if the couple in question starts arguing then Mr. Shapiro may ask that they speak to him, rather than directing their anger across the table. In other circumstances, a party might be asked to explain their concerns in greater depth, to help both parties come to an easier compromise. In very rare cases, Mr. Shapiro may even suggest mediation through caucusing, which means that he will meet with both sides separately, and discuss their needs outside of the earshot of the other client. However, he prefers to stay away from this method as he believes it limits the potential of the mediation process.

To learn about the details of child support in greater detail, or simply discuss your needs regarding mediation, please reach out to Mr. Darren M. Shapiro at your earliest convenience, using our available contact form. On the other hand, you can get in touch using the phone at 516-333-6555. Call and arrange your free thirty-minute initial consultation for a time that suits you.

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