Why should I pay full child support when I have the kids more?

Question: My three kids are with me every Friday-Sunday and sometimes more. It’s been this way since the divorce four years ago. I pay full child support. Is there a modification available since I have my kids half of the time?



Answer: Only an attorney in your jurisdiction can give you an accurate answer regarding child support laws in your state, but I can make a few general observations.

I believe the answer to your question will depend in large part on whether the schedule you have been enjoying with your kids since the divorce is the schedule that was in your original order. If your decree does not provide for the liberal schedule you are enjoying with the kids, your ex-wife is in an enviable position.

If you file a motion to decrease the child support, she can simply advise you that you will no longer have the children more than the time stated in the divorce decree.  By the time you get to hearing, several weeks or months could pass where you have only had the children during court ordered periods, thus significantly damaging if not entirely negating your chances of decreasing your support.  Instead of focusing on child support, your first step should be to file a motion to modify parenting time so that your order reflects what you are actually doing and then seek a decrease in support.

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