Best way to lower child support payment

This is a discussion on Best way to lower child support payment within the Child Custody & Support forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; I hope y'all can help me with this tricky question. Thanks in advance. My fiance and I have a daughter ...

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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default Best way to lower child support payment

I hope y'all can help me with this tricky question. Thanks in advance.

My fiance and I have a daughter together. He has a child from his previous marriage for whom he pays child support. We're really struggling financially because of his support payments on top of the expenses of our child, and I would like to get his court ordered payment lowered (we live in CA, BTW). We can't afford a lawyer, but we did have a consultation with one. He gave us two options. 1) File for a modification of the court order under the hardship clause (since he now has another child to provide for). 2) Since he and I aren't married, for me to file a claim for child support from him, thereby lowering his payment to his other child since the court will divide his current court order between the two children. The lawyer said that since our child is only 8 months, and the child from his previous marriage is 11 years, the court would consider the younger as needing more money than the older.

My concerns are this: With the modification, we would have to go through the county court his ex lives in, which is 5 hours away- we can hardly afford the gas, much less the time off. I am also worried that the judge won't lower it as much as we need (and my god! if it ended up being more!)- my fiance never had a hearing for the court order, so I don't know what income calculation was used. And the current order assumes that he's paying for health insurance, which we can't afford and haven't gotten (his insurance options are expensive and practically worthless). Plus, in addition to CA, he's also paying 200 a month to Washington State for arrearages- I don't know if a judge would take that into consideration. His ex lives off welfare and doesn't work, so even though he doesn't earn much, it's still a lot more than what she earns. And, I know the amount of time spent with a child affects support- well, his ex rarely allows him to see his son (three times this year, so far- they don't have a custody/visitation order) even though my fiance's constantly asking for visits.

As for the second option: We live together. Can I still claim child support when all three of us live together? Will I have to lie and say we're not a couple? (I hate being dishonest) Will the judge really stick to his original court ordered payment and divide it between the two children, or is there a possibility that they will simply tack on the new payment to what he already pays? Is this really a viable option?

Please help! We can barely afford diapers- I can't live like this anymore. What seems like the best way (both in terms of the lowest payment and the most assured-of success) to go about this?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

You say you do not know what income value was used to calculate child support previously. You should be able to get a copy of the court's decision, and that will list the income among the "facts" of the case. You can also find online child support calculators that will give you an estimate of what his obligation should be.
It concerns me that you say the court order assumed he would be paying insurance, and he is not. If it is his responsibility to cover his children for insurance then he needs to do so. Absolutely no excuses.
Also, the amount of time spent with the children has little or no bearing on the amount of support. It is typically not even factored into the calculation, but may be considered by the judge for deviations from the calculation result.
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Old Oct 8th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

You should be ashamed of yourself. It is selfish and inconsiderate to try to cheat that woman out of money that she needs and is entitled too just because you feel that it is too much. As you stated, she is on welfare and has no job. Maybe you need to look into getting yourself a second job before you try to cheat other people and the state. If you do this to the custodial mother, what makes you think that he won't do it to you if your relationship doesn't work out. Treat other the way you would want to be treated.
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Old Oct 8th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

So the new mom has to suffer because the ex is a greedy peice of SH** ??? and tbyte was right how much the father sees his child has no bearing on support if it did then alot more fathers would be involved in their kids lives
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Old Oct 8th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

What if you guys break up and he fathers ANOTHER child. Then what order does it go in? Then if he really wants to shaft his first child support obligation...he could father ONE more...

My point, the first child will NOT get less support money because of more children. At least in my state (not California), the first child gets preference and will not be lowered due to more children from other marriages. The second children get less. If you file for child support - which you should be able to do even living together, it will likely ADD MORE to his reduction and NOT reduce his support to the previous child.

If his income hasn't changed much since the original order....It will likely be the same or more since he is not providing insurance. If her income has dropped - due to going on welfare, they will likely not take that into account. Same if his income dropped. They usually call that Voluntary underemployment.

What are the arrearages for? In a different state? Is there another child?
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
You should be ashamed of yourself. It is selfish and inconsiderate to try to cheat that woman out of money that she needs and is entitled too just because you feel that it is too much. As you stated, she is on welfare and has no job. Maybe you need to look into getting yourself a second job before you try to cheat other people and the state. If you do this to the custodial mother, what makes you think that he won't do it to you if your relationship doesn't work out. Treat other the way you would want to be treated.

What the HELL?? The should get a SECOND job because custodial mother is too lazy to work and help provide for her own child? I don't think so. She's not being selfish she's worrying about her own child. I agree that previous children need to be supported but I strongly DISAGREE that they need to be collecting a check while sitting at home not doing their part.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

why should the second child be penalized because it was born secondly. the whole child support system is messed up.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Exclamation Re: Best way to lower child support payment

I am sure if u go to the courthouse and file an update on his financial situation that the support payment can b lowered

We were told in ottawa canada that when we have a child of our own that indeed his support payment to his previous child will be lowered due to the new expense

Once a year we can update our financial records thru the court so they decide the amount he pays for that year

Check out ur loal court house they have lawyers on site to aid u with paperwork for no fee
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

I know a man in Ohio that pays $80 for his first child and $60 for his second (through a second now-ex wife). The addition of the second child support did not and he was informed will not lower his first obligation. I also know a man who had 1 child with 100 per week support then had 4 more with his second wife. He attempted to get his child support lowered and they stated, it wasn't the fist childs fault that he had 4 more and he had a financial obligation to support based on the calculation of the state with the two parents incomes.

If they truely lower the first mothers child support payments based soley on the second child (where both parents incomes remained similar)...I would be shocked.

Last edited by Gbyte; Nov 6th, 2008 at 03:09 PM.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best way to lower child support payment

So ur saying they cant get it lowered? but if we make more money they can raise it?

We were told the mother can go each year and request a financial update and he makes more money then she can get an increase.

So why cant they lower it if u have the exact same budget as b4 its not the 2nd childs fault either?
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