How to Stop Paying Child Support
The purpose of child support is to ensure that children have financial support from both parents, even if their parents divorce or legally separate. This is to ensure the child has enough funds to stay out of poverty. Even if one of the parents does not request child support, the courts will often issue a court order for one parent to pay child support.
How Long Will I Have to Pay Child Support?
You will have to pay child support until your child reaches the age of majority. Each state has different definitions of the age of majority, but in most states, it is the age of 18. Some states require child support as when the child graduates high school, as until then, they are unable to support themselves with a full-time job.
If you pay child support, check the state laws to find out the age of majority.
How Much Child Support Will I Have to Pay?
The premise of child support is to ensure the child has the same financial support they would receive if their parents were together. Child support is calculated to take into account the wage of the parent who does not hold majority custody. Therefore, if you have a low-income job, you will pay less child support than if you receive a higher wage.
Child support payments can be recalculated if your income changes. It will also be calculated if your situation changes. For example, if the household income of one of the parents changes or the parent paying child support is injured or unemployed, then they can apply for child support to be recalculated. In order to do so, you will need to file a child support modification order. Either party can file this.
How to Stop Paying Child Support
There are a few circumstances where child support would be modified or stopped altogether.
- Reconciliation – If the parents of the child get back together, then they will no longer have to pay child support because they will both be financially supporting the child.
- The parent receiving child support’s situation has changed – If the parent receiving child support is able to support the child on their income, then they may no longer be eligible to receive child support. Usually, the court will reduce payments rather than stop them completely, as they still see both parents as having a financial obligation to the child they parent. The judge will take into account custody split and other arrangements when making the decision.
- The parent paying child support’s situation has changed – If the parent paying child support gets remarried, changes their job, becomes unemployed, or is otherwise unable to work or pay child support, then they may be able to stop or reduce child support. Sometimes the judge will provide a temporary agreement until the parent gets another job or recovers from their injury or illness.
- Emancipation – If the child becomes emancipated from both parents, then they become legally and financially independent. Neither parent will be obligated to pay child support, and the child will have to support themselves.
If you want to stop child support payments, you need to follow the correct legal process in order to do so. Generally, the process is very easy if the other parent agrees to the modification. If the other parent does not, then the case will go to family court, and you will need the help of an attorney.
The county clerk will be able to provide you with the paperwork you need to stop child support payments. The other parent will have a chance to respond, and the judge will make a decision. If the other parent does not agree, then the court will set a hearing date. Be warned that the court wants the child to have the financial means to continue education and stay healthy. They will need to hear valid reasons to stop or reduce child support payments.