In Utah (where I practice divorce and family law), yes, there are many possible ways to reduce child support. They may not be applicable to every child support payor, but there are ways:
- If you can persuade the court that you do not earn and cannot earn in the future the amount of money upon which your current child support obligation is based, then child support can be reduced (that may be cold comfort, however, given that the reason for a reduced child support obligation is your reduced income);
- Become disabled. This is kind of a corollary to way #1, in that if you become disabled that matters to the court to the extent your disability renders you unable to earn the amount of money upon which your current child support obligation is based.
- If you can persuade the court that the child support payee is now earning (and will likely continue to earn in the future) more money than the amount of money upon which your current child support obligation is based, then child support can be reduced;
- Other ways you can get child support reduced:
- If custody of the child(ren) changes from the other parent to you. Obviously, you shouldn’t be paying child support to the noncustodial parent;
- Material changes in the relative wealth or assets of the parties. If you are obligated to pay child support on the meager $2,400 you make per month, but your ex-wife or ex-husband is pulling down $20,000 take home pay per month, you could likely argue that you need all or most of the $2,400 for your own support in light of the fact that your ex has more than enough money to cover all the children’s financial support needs;
- Material changes in the employment potential and ability of a parent to earn (if your ex has, since the child support order was issued, completed medical school or a PhD program or just obtained a Commercial Truck Driver license, etc.);
- Material changes in the legal responsibilities of either parent for the support of others (for example: you have to take care of a parent or sibling or spouse or after-born child whose health or medical needs require you to quit or limit your employment for the sake of providing the care).
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277