You've been paying child support for years, always paying the same amount every month. You want to have your child support payments lowered so you can better meet your own financial obligations, but you don't know if you have a legal right to lower your child support payments.
Certain factors go into whether your child support obligations can be lowered (or not). See if any of the following circumstances fit your situation, and speak to a family lawyer to see if you can have your child support payments lowered.
Drastic Change in Income
A drastic change in income, be it job loss, a job change to a lower-paying career, or even a cutback in your hours, is a reason to consider lowering your child support obligations. The reason being is this: your current monthly payments for the care of your child or children is based on the income you make. Any changes to your income should be reflected in the amount of child support you pay every month.
Your income isn’t the only income that matters in child support payments. If the custodial parent has recently begun working or has had an increase in their own wages, your child support payment amount may be offset as a result. Speak to your attorney to see if you can negotiate a lower payment with the custodial parent, or file a motion to modify child support via your lawyer for the court to determine your new child support payment amount.
New Child Support Orders
Are you currently paying child support to one custodial parent and now facing paying child support to another custodial parent? Multiple child support cases against you can clearly drain your finances.
Depending on your state's guidelines regarding child custody and support, you may be able to not only pay less child support in your new obligation case, but you may be able to lower the monthly payments to the original custodial parent as well. Speak to your lawyer about this possibility rather than simply petitioning for modification on your own, as multiple child support cases can be confusing.
Age of Children
When a child you are paying child support for reaches age 19 or graduates high school (whichever comes first) and you are not behind in your child support payments, you should be able to have that child removed from your payment obligation.
Even though the age of your child is listed as part of the child support and custody order, the child is not automatically removed from your financial obligations (nor are your payments changed) when your child becomes an adult.
You will have to file a motion to modify child support if you have a child who is over the legal age of child support obligations. This is best done by your lawyer, who can negotiate your child support obligations for any remaining children (if applicable) based on your current income and other factors if additional changes are necessary.
Child support is something you will have to pay unless custodial situations change and you become the primary parent for the children. You may have times in which you will need to have child support payments modified to best suit your needs and those of your children.
Your attorney is familiar with the child custody and support laws of your state and will work with you as well as the custodial parent to ensure your monthly child support payments are fair. Speak to our skilled legal team at Allan Brandon Tise, PLLC, Attorney at Law, today to discuss the changes you wish to make in your child support obligations.