How Can I Get My Child Support Lowered?

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How Can I Get My Child Support Lowered?

Child support is a type of payment paid to support one’s child. If you want to reduce your child support payment, you have to show the family court that there is a “substantial” and “continual” change in circumstances. In other words, the change must be big enough to impact the amount of child support you are able to pay, and it must be “continual” or long-lasting. It is your responsibility to prove that the change in circumstance makes the current rate of support unfair. This may be true if you have a suddenly reduced income due to losing your job or a pay cut. It’s important to note, however, that an increase in income can have the reverse effect by increasing your monthly child support payments. Changes in the non-custodial parent’s situation that can reduce child support payments may include the following:

What is Child Support Used For?

In general, child support is supposed to be used for basic necessities of the child. “Basic necessities” include food, shelter, childcare, and education (such as tuition, parent association fees, after-school activities, etc.). It can also include additional things the child enjoyed while her parents were married or together.

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How is Child Support Calculated?

Most states calculate child support by adding together both parents’ incomes and setting aside a specific percentage of the total for the child’s needs. This is not true of all states. For instance, California uses a “time-share” model. The model takes into account both parents’ income as well as the amount of time each parent spends with the child, so even if both parents make the exact same amount, the parent who spends less time with the child ends up paying more in child support.

Paperwork for Reducing Child Support

If you find that your child support payments should be reduced for any of the above reasons, you will want to file a motion to modify child support. The motion should be filed in the same court that issued your original child support order. The county clerk can either provide you with a modification form that you fill out yourself or you can draft a modification request on your own or with the help of a licensed family law attorney. The motion should include the reason for requesting a reduced support payment (lost job, lost wages, hardship due to illness, etc.).

During the hearing, you must submit evidence of a changed circumstances that would warrant reducing child support payments. Pay stubs are often used when a non-custodial parent loses wages. Witnesses are also allowed to testify under penalty of perjury. The custodial parent may also be in attendance during the hearing and can present evidence to negate your claim. After a family law judge hears both sides, she rules on the motion and issues an order which includes the amount of child support the non-custodial parent must pay.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Although you can try to lower your child support payments on your own, it is in your best interest to hire a family attorney. Your lawyer can help you prepare the motion to reduce your child support payment and help you gather all the evidence and paperwork needed to file the necessary motion. Your attorney can also answer any questions you have about the process and procedure.

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Last Modified: 06-06-2017 10:18 PM PDT

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