How a Non-Custodial Parent Can Reduce Child Support Payments

By Brenna Davis

Child support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, and may be paid either directly, through wage deductions or through a state agency. Support is considered a right of the child and child support awards aren't arbitrary. The federal government requires that each state use child support formulas that take into account parental income, the child's needs and other factors. Thus you can't reduce your payments just because you feel they're unfair or don't want to give money to your ex. However, if you can demonstrate a valid reason for a payment reduction, such as reduced income, you might be able to get payments reduced.

Step 1

Examine your state's child support calculator. These are usually available on state child support websites or on family law attorney's websites. The questions the calculator offers you are the factors that are considered in child support awards. They usually include parental income and child's expenses. If your income has been reduced or if the expenses for the child are increased, you may be able to modify your child support. If a child emancipates or is adopted, you might be able to change your financial contribution for child support.

Step 2

File a motion to modify child support. This motion should be filed in the same court that issued your original child support order. In many states, the clerk of the court can provide you with a blank modification form to fill out. You can also draft one on your own, or with the assistance of your attorney. The motion should make clear the reason you wish to reduce your payments, and the amount to which you want to reduce them. Return the motion to the clerk and pay the filing fee. The clerk will schedule a hearing on the motion. Depending upon your state's court rules, you may need to serve the other parent with a copy of the motion or complete a request to have the sheriff serve the other parent.

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Step 3

Attend the hearing on the motion. You must submit evidence that your reason for changing child support is valid. This may include pay stubs to prove that your income has been reduced, orders emancipating a child, receipts for a child's medical bills or other evidence indicating a change. You may also call witnesses who can testify to the facts. Your former spouse will also have an opportunity to present his side and provide evidence. After the judge has heard evidence, she will rule on the motion and will issue an order that states the amount of child support you should pay.

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How Often Can You Check an Ex-Spouse's Income for Child Support in North Carolina?
 

References

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North Carolina Modification of Child Support Laws

When North Carolina courts enter divorce decrees, they address topics such as child custody, child support and property division. Courts can sometimes modify the terms of a divorce when circumstances change after the divorce is finalized. Typically, courts can modify court-ordered child support when one parent can show that circumstances have changed.

How to File for Modification of Child Support in Alabama

You may file for modification of child support anytime a change in circumstances, as defined by Alabama law, has occurred. In most cases, a change in either parent's income of more than 10 percent qualifies. Paying extraordinary expenses, such as special medical care for the child, may also merit a change in support. You can file a petition for modification in the circuit court of the Alabama county where the custodial parent lives or in the county that issued the original support order.

Alabama's State Laws on Child Support Payments

Alabama law requires a court order to establish child support payments. Depending on the facts of your case and whether the noncustodial parent pays the child support correctly, further court orders may be necessary for issues like modifying the amount of payments or collecting past due amounts.

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