As the non-custodial parent, one may find himself needing to decrease his child support payments. A court’s grant of this request can be rare; however, there are certain circumstances under which a request may be granted. Such circumstances often include the loss of a job or a change in salary outside of the child support paying parent’s control. If you are wondering whether or not you qualify to request a decrease in child support and what steps to take next, consider the following.
Financial status change. The most common reason that people request a change in their child support payments is of course a change in financial status. This change, however, must be outside of the payer’s control. For example, your child support payments are calculated based on your salary. If you make a voluntary career change that results in a decrease in salary, your child support payments will remain the same. If your financial position changes, however, due to circumstances outside of your control, you may qualify for a modification.
File a petition. As soon as your financial status changes, it is imperative that you file a petition-the sooner the better. Be advised that if you put off filing the petition, and then later request the change, the judge will most likely not retroactively adjust your child support from the time of the income change. You will be responsible for making the higher payments up until the judge approves the modification. Therefore, it is in your best interest to file as soon as possible.
Be honest. If you are considering fabricating your true salary in an effort to have your payments modified, don’t. You will be doing yourself no favors in trying to conceal your true income. Judges can and will discover the truth eventually, and when they do, your reputation in the courts will be damaged. Dishonesty about your income will in no way contribute to your efforts in showing yourself as a good parent. It is simply not worth the risk.
For more information on matters involving child support, please contact the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.