Every parent has an obligation to help take care of their child. Unfortunately, the situation can become tricky after a divorce. Your ex-spouse may be requesting more money than you can reasonably afford. They may not even end up using the money for your child. There are times when you may need to have your payments reduced. Here are some tips that you will want to follow.
Clarify Your Financial Situation
Child support payments are based off of income. However, some people with decent incomes are facing negative financial circumstances that could make child support payments a hardship. Their income may have also recently changed, which means the court will require them to make payments that they can’t afford.
You will need to make sure that the court understands your financial circumstances. Here are some things that you will need to do. Keep in mind that every situation is different, so you should always consult with an expert before proceeding.
Try to Resolve the Issue With Your Ex-Spouse
You can pay much less for child support if you can come to an agreement with your ex-spouse. If they are reasonable and you are on decent terms, then you should try to work something out before going to court. You can always fight the decision in court if you disagree, but it is always best to pursue a mutual agreement first.
Proof of Income
You will need to provide documentation of your income. Make sure that you clarify if your income has been recently reduced to avoid facing bills you can’t afford.
Documentation of Hardship
You will also need to provide paperwork showing that you have recently undergone a hardship. Layoff slips, liens, foreclosure notices and other documents showing your struggles will help the court understand your situation better.
Insist on Paternity Tests
If you are a man, then you will want to make sure that the child is yours before making payments. Many jurisdictions have laws that are biased in the best interests of the child, which means that you may be required to pay child support if you have helped raise the child even if it wasn’t yours. However, those laws may only apply after a certain period of time has elapsed. In other jurisdictions, you won’t be responsible for a child that you didn’t father.
Understand the Other Party’s Income
Courts generally try to make child support payments as equitable as possible. You will want to find out as much as possible about your ex-spouse’s income to get a more favorable deal. The courts may reduce your child support payments if your spouse is making a significant amount of money, especially if they can provide for the child on their own.