Common Questions & Answers About Child Support Mediation

Common Questions & Answers About Child Support Mediation

January 15, 2023

By FairWell Family Law Mediation

You probably have a lot of questions about your child support mediation and how it all works. Read here to have all your questions answered.

Did you know that US parents settle about 90% of child custody disagreements outside of court? Disputes range from which parent(s) will have legal and physical custody of the child to who will pay child support and how much.

If you are planning to get a divorce and you have a child with your spouse, you may be considering child support mediation. Mediation is an alternative to divorce court. However, mediation is not for everyone.

Mediation is best for couples undergoing an uncontested divorce. In Minnesota, uncontested divorces happen between spouses who can agree on most tenants of their separation agreement. That includes child support.

Are you seeking more information about mediation for child support and how it works in Minnesota? You have come to the right place. Keep reading this guide to get all your child support mediation questions answered.

Mediation vs. Court for Child Support

One of the most frequently asked questions about child support mediation is how it differs from court-ordered child support.

Two parents who can come to an amicable agreement about child support can go through a mediator. Couples who do not agree on child support must go to court. A judge will then determine the child support agreement.

As you can imagine, mediation is much less stressful for both you and your child. Child support mediation can also get you faster results with a lower overall cost compared to going to court.

What Happens in Mediation for Child Support?

Mediation for child support occurs during divorce agreement proceedings. Child support is one of the components of your and your spouse’s child custody agreement.

You and your spouse will share a mediator. Do not worry the mediator is required to be a neutral party with a bias toward neither you nor your spouse.

You and your spouse will sit in separate rooms. Then, the mediator will move between each room during negotiations. The mediator’s overall goal is to create an agreement both of you can compromise on.

Can You Get Child Custody Mediation for Unmarried Parents?

Yes. Though child custody disputes are most common after a divorce, unmarried parents may also need a custody agreement. In this case, you can also seek mediation for child support.

Again, you and your co-parent must agree to compromise. If you fail to compromise during mediation, a judge will make decisions about child support for you.

How to Negotiate Child Support in Mediation

You can not negotiate child support in Minnesota. That is because Minnesota determines child support amounts using a predetermined formula.

The primary factors that go into child support payments include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Each parent’s gross income
  • Each parent’s childcare costs
  • Each parent’s parenting time

As mentioned, this is certainly not an exhaustive list of factors that play into child support. Check out Minnesota’s child support calculator at this link for more information.

What Not to Do During Child Support Mediation

Child support mediation is supposed to streamline the child custody process during a divorce. However, a major “don’t” of child support mediation is to agree to things you will later regret.

For example, you will not only determine child support during a custody mediation session. You will also make agreements about parenting time, including physical and legal custody.

Make sure you keep the long-term in mind when agreeing to your spouse’s proposals. If you need to change a tenant of the agreement, you have to meet legal standards to even file for a modification of a custody order.

What Not to Say in Child Custody Mediation

Another big “don’t” of child custody mediation is using emotional verbiage. For example, you and your spouse may traverse some sensitive topics during mediation. Try not to trigger your partner, as this could end the entire process.

How Much Does Mediation Cost in Minnesota for Child Custody?

Mediation costs way less than divorce court battles. As mentioned, that is because mediation takes far less time than going to court. Your attorney will rack up fewer hours, and you will not have to pay court motion-filing fees.

In fact, Minnesota allows parents to represent themselves during mediation. That means you could pay nothing in attorney fees. The only cost you will accrue is the fee to file for divorce and the mediator’s hourly fee.

The cost for a mediator in Minnesota varies depending on the professional your hire. But, in general, you can expect to pay as little as $3,000 or up to $8,000 for child support mediation.

How to Prepare for Child Support Mediation

You can use the following child support mediation checklist to prepare for your mediation session(s).

  1. Documents detailing what a loving, caring parent you are
  2. Court documents detailing any previous custody or related agreements
  3. A proposed parenting plan detailing how you want to co-parent your child
  4. Your work and vacation calendars, as well as your child’s school calendar

Also, make sure you bring with you a patient and compromising mindset. Mediation can take hours, if not days. The more you are willing to compromise with your partner, the faster you can come to a final resolution.

Searching for ‘Child Support Mediation Near Me’?

We hope this guide has helped to answer all your top mediation questions for child custody agreements. Mediation is a less stressful, speedier, and more affordable option than asking a Minnesota judge to determine child support.

Are you looking for child support mediation in Minnesota? FairWell specializes in family law mediation, including child custody and support agreements. Book a call with us to get started today!


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