If you and your spouse agree to divorce and the situation is fairly amicable, you probably will want to try to resolve everything outside of court during your divorce. If you have children, you can decide custody and parenting time, but you have limits when it comes to setting up child support.
The Superior Court of California explains the court has the last word on any child support agreements because an arrangement must adhere to state guidelines.
One of the main reasons why the law requires a court to sign off on any child support arrangement is that the court acts as the advocate for the children to ensure any agreement is in the best interests of the child. Both parents have a legal obligation to provide for their children.
An arrangement should never leave one parent in financial hardship or deprive the children of financial support. What you and your spouse want comes second to what is best for the children.
If you wish to come to an agreement on child support outside of court, you should understand the factors you need to consider. The court will use these factors and will look over any agreement you make with them in mind.
You should think about how much time the children will spend with each of you, extra expenses, healthcare costs, earnings of each of you, lifestyle the children are used to, your personal expenses, tax filing statuses and any special needs.
The ultimate goal is to provide adequately for the children without lowering the quality of their lives needlessly. It is important when making any agreement to remember that the money is for the care of the children.