Reduction in child support payments can only be approved by the court if there are legitimate reasons for it. Also, support payments are a right of the child – not the parent who has the custody.
The whole purpose of these monthly payments is to make sure your child continues to have the same living standard as though you and your ex-spouse are still together. This is how the court ensures that every child receives the complete financial support from both parents.
However, there are some circumstances when a high-income, non-custodial parent may be able to reduce their support payments, given they can convince the court.
This is where a trusted and creative family law attorney comes in. Many people mistakenly assume that it is impossible to reduce your child support payments if you are financially well-off. One of the most respected Massachusetts divorce attorneys, Jay Davis, has proved time and again that it’s simply not true.
In his 22+ years’ career, Jay Davis has worked with several professional athletes, business leaders, and other successful clients to help them get through divorces, child custody cases, and modification of child support payments. Want to pick his brain about your situation? Call Davis Law Group at 617-221-3548 to set up a free consultation.
Having said that, there are three steps involved in trying to reduce your child support payments:
1. Look at Massachusetts Legal Guidelines
Every state has different ways for calculating child support payments, which are generally based on factors like needs of the child, your ability to pay, and the income of the other parent.
But remember, you will have to present a solid case as to why you want to reduce your payments. This could be because you lost your job, incurred heavy losses in your business, or your income has decreased significantly.
For the state of Massachusetts, you can calculate the child support by visiting the state’s official website.
#Note: In some cases, the court may deviate from the standard calculation mentioned in the above link.
2. File a Motion to Change the Payments
Once you have come up with a very good reason to reduce your child support payments, your attorney will need to file a motion to make it official. This motion should be filed in the same court where your original child support order was issued.
3. Attend the Hearing
After your attorney has filed the motion to modify the support payments and sent a copy of the same to the other parent, you will need to set up a motion hearing. This will offer both you and the other parent a chance to speak in front of the judge and present your case.
At this hearing, your attorney will show evidence of why your payments must be reduced. They will also be prepared to rebut any arguments from the other side regarding why the payments should not be reduced.
This is why it is extremely important to work with a tenacious family attorney who will make successful arguments for your case and not get bogged down by the other side.
Jay Davis and his team have been helping high-earning clients handle divorce and child support payment matters since 1998. He knows the Massachusetts family laws like the back of his hand, which has made him one of the most successful divorce attorneys in the state. To schedule a confidential and free consultation with Jay, call 617-221-3548 today.
Is it Possible to Reduce Child Support Payments if You Are a High-Earner?
In the state of Massachusetts, there is a maximum limit of $250,000 on the parent’s income when it comes to calculating child support payments. This means, even if your income is more than this figure, the court will use the same criteria while calculating the monthly payments as with $250,000.
This is good news if you are a non-custodial parent who is looking to increase their income, without having to pay increased child support payments.
But what if you want to reduce these monthly payments?
Well, first of all, you have to understand that just because your situation has changed or you have decided to pay less, it won’t automatically adjust your obligations. If something has happened that is forcing you to make this tough decision, you will need to inform the court of this change. Only then your attorney can file a formal request.
Regardless of how wealthy you are or how many assets you own, if there is a legit reason and your attorney can prove it in the court, it is possible to get away with a reduction.
Also, if you are the non-custodial parent, make sure any modification regarding the support payments are done in the courtroom only. Making any other kind of arrangement is invalid and it won’t hold in the court; in fact, it could land you in legal hot waters.
So, just to reiterate: don’t go making any agreements about the modification with the other parent over email, phone, text messages, or a cup of coffee! In order for it to be valid, it must go through the proper channels. Only the judge can decide whether your request for reduction is accepted or not.
One more thing, let’s say your income has clearly dwindled down, so “obviously” you want to reduce your monthly payments toward child support. But just because you think it’s logical, doesn’t mean the court or your child’s other parent will see it that way. So, it’s best to not take matters into your own hands.
Instead, hire a Massachusetts family law attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced, and is known for working hard to protect their clients’ rights. It is almost never an astute idea to represent yourself in a case where child custody or support payments are in question.
Legal Help is Here for You
At Davis Law Group, Jay Davis has represented multiple high-income spouses in divorce and child custody matters since 1998. Due to his astounding ability to maneuver a legal situation in his clients’ favor, he has garnered a dependable reputation among his peers as well as clients.
Jay and his team will be happy to provide you valuable legal advice about your unique child support situation in Massachusetts in a no-obligation, free consultation. Give us a call at 617-221-3548 to find out how you might be able to reduce your child support payments effectively.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548