Can I modify child support if my wife now has lower living expenses?

mens divorce lawyer William BackerQuestion:

My question is about child support laws. I believe my ex-wife has moved in with her boyfriend and is no longer having to pay rent.

Would I be successful in filing a modification to lower my child support payments because she is getting free housing?


I do not practice in your state, so I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of Indiana.  Cordell & Cordell has attorneys who are licensed nationwide who would be willing to discuss the specific facts of your case with you.

In Missouri where I practice, as in most states, child support is calculated in a very formulaic manner. In most states, the calculations are based upon three main factors: the respective incomes of each of the parents, the number of children involved, and the custody or visitation schedule, i.e., the percent of time each party has custody of the children.

The courts have constructed formulas in an attempt to reduce subjectivity of the child support amounts. (Calculate your child support.)

In order for the court to modify a child support order, you would be required to prove to the court and the court would have to find that there are changed circumstances that are so substantial and continuing such that the original child support order is unreasonable.

In determining whether a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, the court would consider the financial needs and resources of both parents, including the extent to which the expenses of either party are, or should be, shared by a person with whom he or she cohabits.

In a proceeding for modification of any child support or maintenance judgment, the court, in determining whether or not a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, shall consider all financial resources of both parties, including the extent to which the reasonable expenses of either party are, or should be, shared by a spouse or other person with whom he or she cohabits, and the earning capacity of a party who is not employed.

In your case, the needs of your ex-wife would arguably be less due to the fact that she may have much lower living expenses because she is not paying rent.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. I urge you to contact one as I do not know all the details of your case and thus cannot provide you with specific legal advice.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including William F. Backer, an Associate Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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2 comments on “Can I modify child support if my wife now has lower living expenses?

    Child Support Modification
    Paul, you would need to file a modification for child custody/support with the court. This has to show a drastic change in circumstance in order to lower your support payments. Loss of job would be one.

    Contact an attorney in your state immediately to get your modification of support in place. You can find attorneys we refer to under the resource section click attorney referrals.

    Child support modification
    I have a similar situation. I live in California. My ex wife has her new boyfriend living with her and combined income is approximatly $100,000. While I was unemployed for about a year and a half, I still had to pay child suport out of my unemployment while she is pocketing the money. In addition, My son is not even living there and is in a different state being payed for 100% by the school district and the State. Is there any way to get this modified? I don’t pay that much but enought to where I have no money left to live on and barely making my bills. Please let me know what I can do about this.

    Thank you,

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