Why Is My Child Support Payment So High?

In theory, child support should not be a heavy burden. If you break the numbers down, the payments shouldn’t be much different from money you spent on the kids while you were married. If your payments are too high, there is a reason, and you may be able to have your payments modified.

Here are some possible explanations for why you are paying too much for child support.

The Original Order Is Wrong

Courts should keep both parents in mind when creating a child support ruling. Support is based on several factors.

First, the court considers how much is required to keep the kids fed, healthy, and within the same lifestyle as before the divorce. After that, it looks at how much time each parent will spend with the child, adjusting payments accordingly.

Then it looks at each parent’s ability to meet that need. It considers both the incomes and earning potential of the parents. Remember, each parent contributes to child support. The custodial parent spends money on the kids simply by living with them, and the other parent supplements that spending.

If your payments have always been too high, the original ruling is probably incorrect.

You Had a Major Life Change

Perhaps you were able to keep up with your payments before, but a significant life change has occurred. Since that change, you’ve found it hard to meet your obligations.

If you’ve experienced a major life change, you may qualify for a child support modification. Examples include:

  • Having a New Baby
    Child support is based on the number of children you have, regardless of who the other parent is. If you’ve had another child, you have another mouth to feed. This will require lowering your payments to support all your children.
  • Losing a Job or Being Demoted
    When an occupational shift lowers your income, you cannot be expected to keep up with the same bills as before. If your job change is semi-permanent, then you may be able to alter your payments. The change must also not be your fault, such as in a company layoff.
  • Experiencing a Change in Custody
    Remember, courts consider the amount of time with your kids when deciding on child support. If you have the kids more often, you will need more on-hand cash to support your time with them. Therefore, a modification is appropriate.

Modifying Your Child Support Payments

Courts like to stick by their orders, even when they are just a little off. To modify a child support ruling, you will need the help of a good attorney. They can help you gather the evidence that proves your payments are unreasonable. This will require statements that prove your income status, the birth of your new child, the changes in custody that affect your income, or any other part that contributes to your claim.

Then, your attorney will be able to represent your case for you in court. This process will almost look like a trial, where your lawyer is arguing your case before the judge. Your former spouse may be able to present a counter-argument, so be sure that your claim is strong before attempting to alter your child support payments.

Our firm can use its investigative skills to help you plead for a child support alteration. If you need help, reach out to us today. You can call us at (801) 901-7046 or contact us online.