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Stop Paying Child Support: All You Need To Know

Posted by LEISA WINTZ | Jun 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

Father and daughter playing

Can the mother cancel child support? Can parents agree to no child support? Does the state pay child support if the father doesn't? Child support is a complex and sensitive, and ceasing payment even more. While it is important to fulfill your financial obligations to support your child, there may be situations where you need to explore alternatives or determine if you qualify for a change in payment. In this article, we will provide you with insights on how to reduce or stop paying child support through legal avenues.

Options to Stop Paying Child Support

Seek a Modification

If you are facing financial difficulties, it is crucial to consider seeking a modification of your child support order. Each state has its own process, but generally, you will need to gather evidence that substantiates your financial crisis. This may include bank statements, monthly records, or pay stubs. Present these documents to the court and await their decision. Until you receive a modified order from the court, you are legally obligated to continue making your regular payments.

Explore Additional Employment

Taking on a second job can be a viable option if you are struggling to meet your child support obligations. While it may require sacrificing leisure time, a second job can provide the additional income necessary to fulfill your financial responsibilities. This can also give you a better understanding of your finances, allowing you to prioritize your payments effectively.

Request a Hearing Review

Another alternative is to request a hearing review to reassess the amount of child support you are required to pay. Keep in mind that this process may take several months, depending on the complexity of your case and the availability of the other party's financial information. Be prepared to provide supporting evidence and consult with a specialized attorney for guidance.

Present Evidence of Inability to Pay

If you find yourself unable to make child support payments due to a significant change in circumstances, such as a pay cut, job loss, or serious health condition, you can present this evidence in court. It is essential to demonstrate that your increased expenses make it unfeasible to meet your financial obligations. Seeking legal advice from an attorney experienced in family law can help you navigate this process effectively.

Legal Reasons Child Support Payments May Cease

While it is important to fulfill your child support obligations, there are circumstances under which payments may come to an end. These scenarios include:

  • Death of the child: In the tragic event of the child's passing, child support obligations are automatically terminated.
  • Child reaches the age of majority: When a child turns 18 years old, they are considered an adult, and parental financial responsibility typically ceases.
  • Custody transferred to the paying parent: If a reassessment grants physical custody to the paying parent, they may no longer be required to make monthly child support payments.
  • Child emancipation: If it can be proven that the child is financially self-sufficient and capable of supporting themselves, they may seek emancipation, relieving the paying parent of financial responsibility.
  • Loss of parental rights: Losing parental rights, either voluntarily or by court decision, may exempt a parent from their child support obligations. However, this also means relinquishing all rights and involvement in the child's life.
  • Reconciliation of parents: If both parents reconcile and resume living together, the grounds for child support may no longer exist. In such cases, the initiating party would need to explain this change to the court.
  • Change in recipient's financial situation: If the child gains employment or receives an inheritance, the paying parent may have the option, depending on the circumstances, to reduce or stop child support payments. The recipient may also request a modification based on the change in their financial situation.

Navigating the process of stopping child support payments can be complex, requiring a thorough understanding of family law. It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can guide you through the legal procedures and ensure that your rights and responsibilities are protected. Contact us today to discuss your situation and explore the best course of action.

About the Author


Leisa Wintz originally began her career as a marriage and family therapist. Ms. Wintz went on to attend law school and started practicing family law in 2009. However, she quickly realized that many family law practices lacked the empathy and compassion she believed were necessary in order to achi...


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