Can I Have My Child Support Payments Reduced?

Child support payments on wooden desk.

When children become a focal point of a divorce case, charged emotions, arguments over money, and custody battles are commonplace. In the aftermath of these deliberations, you may have to make child support payments to your former spouse every month to help care for your child. However, life does not always allow you to make these payments in a full or timely manner.

Sudden changes to your circumstances can impact your ability to make these payments. Losing your job, suffering an injury, or another significant life event can turn your child support payments into swift financial ruin if something doesn’t change for you. In situations like these, people have legal options to help modify their child support payments. 

Qualifying Major Life Events

People looking to make modifications to their child support payments have to prove in the courts that they have undergone a major life event that has affected their ability to make the payments at their current level. Before making you state your case before a judge, you need to know what qualifies as a major life event that leads to your best chance of modifying your child support payments. Consulting with a divorce lawyer ahead of time can help you make your case for a modification to your child and spousal support.

Salary Reductions

In certain industries, salary reductions are an unfortunate byproduct of doing business in a volatile company. If the salary reduction isn’t a temporary circumstance and is on track to be your new normal, a judge may look favorably on your modification request. 

On-the-Job Injury

In a similar vein to seeing your salary reduced, your ability to perform your job for an extended period can lead to a successful modification. If you get injured while at work, and you have to go on workers comp for an extended period, you’ll be making only a fraction of your original salary, which can make providing for your own needs and making the original payments that much more difficult. 

Workers’ compensation cases can present you with new challenges that complicate your life for months and even years. Depending on how your recovery looks like and when you’re expected to be back to work, you can petition a judge to modify your child support payments to something more manageable for your current situation until you’re ready to go back to work. 

Sudden Loss of Your Job

In any industry, there is a certain level of unpredictability. Some people may believe that they have the most secure job in the world and then get blindsided by company-wide budget cuts or a sudden termination. In instances like these, getting back on your feet can take time, and even if you do get a new job fairly quickly, the new position could be at a salary rate significantly lower than your previous position. 

Additionally, if the job market isn’t kind to you and finding a new job hasn’t gone the way you envisioned, making your previous child support payments can prove extremely difficult. Judges are more likely to look favorably on your modification request if you can prove your current financial hardship and show that you are actively looking for a new job and simply aren’t having any luck. 

You Have a New (and Larger) Family

Not every reason for a child support modification has to be job-oriented. In some instances, people can petition the court to modify their child support when there’s been a significant change in their family life. If you have married a new spouse and found yourself with a larger family to support, making the existing child support payments may be causing a hardship on the children you’re actively taking care of. 

Find a Law Firm That Cares About You During These Cases

Depending on how you present your case and show the additional financial responsibilities you have with your new family, a judge may approve a modification. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the Westfield, NJ, court system and make your case for child support modifications. Keith Family Law provides our clients with the support and legal representation they need to ensure their voices are heard in the court of law. 

Our experienced divorce attorneys can help ensure you receive a fair shake when it comes to determining child support payments and that they reflect your current financial ability to make these payments. Our extensive experience allows us to better understand your unique case and provide you with the best legal advice possible.

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