Unmarried, separated or divorced parents can agree to the financial care of children through casual or court-formalized arrangements. Informal child support involves an element of trust between separated parents, which can be broken over time. For that reason, many custodial New York parents prefer involving a family court in child support matters.

A noncustodial parent who verbally promises to meet child financial obligations may do so without ever having an instance of past-due child support. Parents sometimes fall behind in payments or neglect to live up to informal agreements, which can end up damaging a child’s welfare.

The mother of a child fathered by New York Jets player Braylon Edwards wants a family court judge to establish regular child support for the couple’s 18-month-old son. The wide receiver apparently has been paying child support willingly.

The unmarried parents were a couple until sometime after the National Football League player was arrested for drunk driving in 2010. Edwards is also the father of a 3-year-old son whose mother sued the athlete for support at about the time of the second mother’s pregnancy.

The 29-year-old Jets receiver has moved into a third relationship since breaking up with the mothers of his children, a fashion writer and a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.” The same attorney that was used by the mother in the first child support matter is also handling the new lawsuit.

The 2010 filing ended with an undisclosed settlement. Reports say the mother of the 3-year-old received less monthly support than the $70,000 she expected. A temporary order supporting the 18-month-old is in effect until the second mother’s case is decided.

Child support issues can be tangled for parents who were never married. Often, paternity must be established before child support decisions are made.

Time and expense are involved in forging formal child support agreements, but the effort often ensures that a child’s financial wellbeing is legally protected.

Source: nypost.com, “Jets star sued for child support AGAIN,” Dec. 17, 2012