Call or Text An Attorney 858-222-6600
San Diego
Contra Costa

Is it possible to lower your child support payments?

Posted By:
May 8, 2020


Is it possible to lower your child support payments?

Is it possible to lower your child support payments?

Raising a child is often an expensive endeavor. After all, not only must you fund everyday expenses, but you likely must also cover educational, extracurricular, medical and other costs. However, if you are unable to pay your monthly bills, trying to keep up with child support can be tremendously stressful. If you are struggling to comply with your child support obligation, you may have some options.

When making child support orders, judges consider the best interests of the child. Accordingly, because a judge has already determined your monthly payments are necessary for your child to thrive, he or she may be reluctant to lower them. Still, California law provides a framework for modifying existing child support orders.

A material change in circumstances

If you want a judge to reduce the amount of child support you must pay, you have the burden of showing a material change in circumstances. That is, circumstances must be meaningfully different now than they were when the judge made his or her initial order. The following are common examples of material changes in circumstances:

  • A change in either parent’s parenting time 
  • A change in either parent’s income 
  • A change in either parent’s employment 
  • A change in either parent’s family makeup 
  • A change in either parent’s relationship status 
  • A change in the child’s needs 

To prove a material change in circumstances, you may need to gather extensive documentation. Gathering pay stubs, tax returns, child-related documents and other similar records is usually a good first step.

An agreement with your child’s co-parent

Your child’s co-parent may recognize your inability to comply with your existing support order. If so, you may be able to negotiate a lower payment amount. Your support order, though, remains in effect until a judge modifies it. Therefore, you must seek approval from the judge before relying on any agreement you make with your former spouse.

Comments are closed.

I’ve been working with Paul Ryan on a difficult case for over a year and he has been a God-send. He is smart, personable, very down to earth and a fighter. I had two terrible experiences previously with different SD firms, and hiring Paul has been a welcome breath of fresh air. I would highly recommend Paul, especially for active duty military and veterans.

Read Our Reviews