Currently, I am going through a divorce. When we started the process I was making substantially more than I am now and my wife’s attorney calculated child support based on that amount.
Since then my hours have been cut nearly I half and I will not be able to pay the amount currently listed in the divorce decree.
We have not been to court yet, but I have been paying her for the last two months. I’m afraid that if I just stop paying then I will owe back child support.
What can I do to get the payment reduced?
I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning child support.
First, you need a lawyer. There are serious consequences that flow from having a child support order that you are unable to pay.
There are a few things I would like to know in order to give you an answer to your question. You say that your wife’s lawyer has an amount in the decree – is this a proposed decree, that has not been signed by the judge yet? If so, you need to let the judge know that you do not agree to that number.
On the other hand, is this part of an agreement that was made and signed by you? If you agreed to pay that much and then the lawyer turned the agreement into a decree, you might be stuck.
You are setting a serious precedent for child support, for several years to come if you let these numbers become part of a final decree of divorce. Most states have a provision stating that you can have your child support adjusted if your income changes in a significant way – but that is going to be hard to do immediately following your divorce. You need to fix it now.
I cannot stress this enough. You need a lawyer. Even if you cannot afford a lawyer, contact your local Legal Aid center and see if you qualify for a lawyer at a discounted rate.
If this child support amount is not corrected now, you could spend thousands of dollars fighting it in the future.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general child support tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.