When you divorced your ex-spouse, you may have gotten child custody as well as monthly child support payments. These payments ensured that your child would be well taken care of no matter what.
Or, perhaps your ex-spouse got primary custody and you have to pay child support.
Now you – or maybe your ex – wants to terminate child support. While there is a process to eliminating child support, you can’t do it alone. You’ll need to have a family lawyer step in and help to ensure that the process goes smoothly and everything is done in a legal manner.
The Reasons for Terminating Child Support
There are a number of different reasons why someone may want to get rid of child support whether they are the one paying it or receiving it.
If the payer gains physical custody of the child, then they will no longer have to pay child support since they are with the child full-time. In fact, the other parent may have to start paying.
Depending on a child’s maturity level and age, a court may let them emancipate themselves. If this happens, then the non-custodial parent may not have to pay child support anymore.
If the parents get back together, then child support will come to an end. If a father takes a paternity test and it shows that he is not the biological father, he may not have to pay anymore. Also, keep in mind that child support will stop when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later, unless they have a disability and require further help.
Options for Terminating Child Support
When it comes to child support, you can try to lower your monthly payments or eliminate them altogether.
If you lose your job, then you could ask for a reduction in child support. If you suddenly become disabled, then you could make the same request to the family court.
When you’re ready to try to lower or terminate monthly payments, you should call a family lawyer to assist you. A family lawyer will also help you if your ex-spouse is the one attempting to lower or terminate payments and you want to fight it in court.
How to Terminate Child Support With a Lawyer’s Help
Whichever side you’re on, you’ll need a family lawyer to help you with the process.
First, make sure you aren’t fighting with your ex-spouse or making deals with them outside of court. Any conversations you have about child support should be done with a lawyer or in court.
If you are the payer and you suddenly decide to stop paying without going through the court, then you could get in trouble. You may have to make those back payments with interest as a starter. Additionally, if you fail to pay child support, you may: Go to jail, Pay fines, Pay for your ex’s lawyer’s fees, Get your license suspended, Have your wages garnished, Have your tax refund taken away, Not able to get a U.S. passport, Get your professional license suspended, Get your hunting and fishing license suspended and/or Have a lien filed against your property.
If you are struggling financially and simply can’t pay the full amount, you can always contact your ex (in writing) and let them know. Then, pay as much as you can until you can get into court. At the very least, you’ll show the judge that you’re trying to do the responsible thing in light of the difficult circumstances.
If you are the recipient of child support, you may feel sympathetic when your ex loses their job or says they can’t pay anymore. However, letting them off the hook without consulting your lawyer first is not a good idea.
A family lawyer is also necessary if you and your ex have a contentious relationship. A lawyer could conduct mediation, which will hopefully help you and your ex resolve your issues without going to court.
When you’re ready to get in touch with a lawyer, you can request to modify child support. In Texas, you can change it every three years or when there has been a significant change in your circumstances, such as job loss or disability.
Hopefully, you and your ex will be able to agree on terminating or lowering child support. If you do not, ultimately the court is going to decide what’s in the best interest of your child.
Contacting the Family Lawyers at Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC
The experienced family lawyers at Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC are available to talk with you if you want to lower or terminate your child support altogether. If you’re on the other side and you are worried about your ex-spouse trying to terminate support, then we can help you as well. We’ve assisted many families with child support issues and we’re ready to take your call and listen to what’s happening in your case. Make sure you contact our office now to schedule a confidential consultation.