Is An Informal Paternity and Child Support Agreement Binding?

colorado springs divorce lawyer Stephanie RikemanQuestion:

I would like to reach a paternity and child support agreement with my ex-girlfriend concerning a child she says I fathered, though I want to do this without involving the courts.

Is an out-of-court agreement, perhaps even notarized, considered a binding contract?

Answer:

I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Colorado family laws where I am licensed to practice.

When you have a child, you don’t want to simply agree on child support and then not explore your rights as a father to parenting time/visitation with your child.

There are also issues regarding the claiming of a dependent through the federal dependent child tax exemption, payment of medical expenses, health insurance, and extracurricular activities.

An informal agreement oftentimes won’t address any of these and you may be giving up rights you don’t even know you have.

I caution doing anything informally that can then lead to a court interpreting the agreement in a different manner. Also, a notarized agreement can be lost over time leaving you with exposure to potential back payments.

I always caution people against reaching informal “agreements” when it comes to issues such as paternity, parenting time, and child support. This is a dangerous area to just informally agree on something. There are rights you may be losing or surrendering by not proceeding formally.

Certainly you can explore the options of creating a parenting plan and child support order and then filing that with the court as a stipulation. Such forms are usually readily available on local court websites.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Colorado Springs Divorce Lawyer Stephanie D. Rikeman, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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