How to Stop Paying Child Support Legally

If you’ve gotten a divorce, or ended a relationship in which you’ve had a child, the court systems in every jurisdiction of the United States will make a determination as to the best interest of the child, and will enforce this decision by giving custody of the child to the parent who has proven to be able to provide the best environment and the highest sense of stability. In turn, the court will also make sure that the children are taken care of in the best way possible. One of the ways the court ensures this is by the order of child support payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent.  

Legal Ways to Stop Paying Child Support

In some cases, the non-custodial parent feels as though the order to pay support is either unjust or unwarranted. He or she may then decide he wants to stop paying child support. However, you cannot simply decide to stop paying child support, as this is a violation of a court order and can laid you in jail or can lead to a whole host of other consequences. Fortunately, there are legal ways to stop paying child support in certain cases.

  • The first thing a non-custodial parent needs to do in order to take the legal route to stop child support payments is to go to the Clerk’s office of the court that issued the original order and file a Motion to Change Order.
  • A motion to change order is the form used to let the court know of an intention to alter an existing custody or support order by coming back to court to show cause as to why the order should be changed.
  • For the motion to change order to be granted, simply telling the judge you don’t want to give the custodial parent money anymore absolutely will not do. There needs to be an appropriate reason as to why you feel the order needs to be changed.
  • In most cases, the child support will not be halted unless the custody order is altered in a manner that allows both parties equal custody, or that grants the non-custodial parent custody of the children, which would in turn reverse the support order.  A child support order can be changed if your income situation changes, but you will not be able to simply stop paying.

Giving Up Your Parental Rights

The only other way to discontinue paying child support is to sign off on any legal rights to the child. The other parent would, however, have to agree to this. Doing this will end your child support obligation immediately, however it will also end your status as a parent as far as the court is concerned. You will have no rights to visitation, or any information regarding your child. In essence, as far as the court is concerned, you will no longer be a parent.

Getting Help

If you are facing a situation where you want to put an end to your child support payments, it is essential to go through the proper legal channels. You should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible, as your lawyer can help you to understand what legal options you have available to stop paying child support.

Swipe to view more

Talk to a Lawyer

Want to talk to an attorney? Start here.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you