When it comes to child support negotiations, don't just focus on the present (like rent and grocery for the next few months); you also need to think about future expenditures. If you fail to do this, you are likely to find yourself seeking a child support modification sooner rather than later. To avoid such wastage of resources, here are some of the things to include in your child support negotiations:
A thousand dollars today is likely to be more valuable than a thousand dollars in five years' time. Therefore, when you agree to get a thousand dollars per month as child support, it might not pay for the same expenses in five years as it does today. For this reason, your child support agreement should include a provision for adjusting the child support payments to keep them in line with the inflation.
Some states, such as New Jersey, already have this provision in the law, and child support payments in such states are automatically adjusted to keep in step with inflation. If your state doesn't have such a law, however, it's up to you to include it in your agreement.
Another thing you should factor in is your child's future education. College expenses are a far cry from kindergarten expenses, so you need to prepare for them long in advance to avoid going to court when your kid starts college.
Don't forget that some states do not view college expenses as conditional expenses. Parents in such states aren't expected to include college expenses in their child support payments. However, when you include college expenses your child support agreement, the agreement becomes the de facto law, and both of you will be required to abide by it.
Lastly, you should also consider transportation costs for your child, which is also paid for by child support. After all, every child needs transportation to get from one place to another. For example, they need to go to school, watch games, attend after-school activities, and visit their grandparents, among other things.
These costs may seem insignificant when the child is young and can't travel alone. However, they will increase in the future when the child can and needs to travel alone, for example, when they reach teenage years. Car payments, insurance costs, and gas money or bus/airfare costs can add up to a tidy sum of money, so you need to factor in those in your child support demands.
It's alright to take care of the present as long as you don't ignore the future. Engage a family lawyer from a law firm like Healy and Svoren Attorneys at Law to help you craft a plan that includes every possible future expense. That is the only way to ensure that you will only seek a support modification when it's necessary.