Did you know that most men who don’t pay their court-ordered child support are simply unable to do so because their income is too low? A study conducted in 2003 by the Urban Institute shows that most low-income people find the support orders too high and unsustainable.
Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent who lives and takes care of the children to ensure their standard of living remains as comfortable as possible.
Each state has a calculating formula that they use to set the amount one parent will be paying as child support monthly and it is usually based on net income and the child’s expenses.
The question on how to minimize child support payments, however, comes up when circumstances such as reduced income arise. Here is a look at some of the ways you can get those payments reduced.
Maintaining a civil relationship with your former spouse for the sake of the kids is one of the basic rules of co-parenting. In such a situation, you can be able to talk with the other parent about any financial change that has occurred in your life since the original amount was set.
For example, if you have lost your job or your income has reduced, you can discuss a change in payments until the situation gets better.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to have a good relationship with an ex-spouse where you can understand each other. Since child support payments are originally set by a court, you should file a motion to your current payments in the same court.
A blank modification form will be provided by the court clerk or your lawyer can draft one as well. This motion will clearly state the reasons why you wish to reduce your payments and a copy will be sent to the custodial parent with a set date for the hearing.
With enough evidence presented before the judge during the hearing, he may decide to reduce your payment but that is always under his discretion.
Over and above what the children eat and wear, child support payments also include healthcare, education and childcare bills as well. One of the best ways to reduce the lump sum payment is to look at these clusters individually.
For example, you can cover your children in your healthcare insurance instead of paying for their healthcare from your pocket. It’s also possible to take them to more affordable schools and hire better child care if at all it’s needed.
Apart from the parents’ income, the court also looks at how much time each parent spends with their children when calculating the child support payments. This means that if you modify the amount of timeshare both of you spend with the kids, the payments will also change if the formula is used correctly.
However, this is also determined by your relationship with the other parent and if they can trust you to stay with the kids for a longer period of time.
If the process seems too hectic, a good family lawyer can advise you on how to minimize child support payments without losing your children or affecting your relationship with the co-parent.
Saving a couple of hundred bucks a month could mean having more time for you and the kids as well as being able to spoil them.