I am a non-custodial father. If I retire, is that considered a “change in circumstances” thus warranting a modification of child support based on my lower income?
Every state will have different guidelines and timelines for child support modifications, but typically a modification to child support is merited when there is a substantial change in circumstances that would justify a revision.
If your income has changed because you have retired, then you certainly could petition the court to modify the amount of child support that you pay. Other circumstances that justify a modification include a change in the needs of the child and a change in the payer’s earning capacity.
There are many factors that weigh into a modification of support. You should ask yourself whether the court will view this change in your income as voluntary and appear to be an attempt to evade paying child support.
Some questions to consider that may be taken into consideration are whether you are at full retirement age or did you retire early? If you are at full retirement age then it is more likely that your situation merits a modification to child support. The court may then consider your new gross monthly income in determining child support.
The likelihood of obtaining a modification to support or what that modification may be depends on the facts of your case and the laws in your jurisdiction. I suggest you seek further advice from an attorney.
Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide.
Trisha B. Festerling is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices family law exclusively. Ms. Festerling’s practice is focused on men’s divorce, child support, child custody, paternity and modification. She is licensed in the state of Wisconsin. Ms. Festerling received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on Political Science, Magna cum Laude, from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She received her Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia.