What to do when your child support payments seem too high

Divorce can be painful and messy. In many cases, the most hotly contested issues are child custody, visitation for the non-custodial parent, and child support levels and payments. It can be all too easy to make hasty decisions from an emotional place during a divorce, but what may feel cathartic in the moment may impact the final divorce judgment later, possibly in a negative way. If you are currently subject to a temporary support order pending the finalization of your divorce and you believe your support amount is too high, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible.

New York Takes Child Support Seriously

You may think that child support is a minor issue, given how difficult enforcement can be. However, family courts in the state of New York take child support, and the failure to provide it, quite seriously. If you believe that the support amount that was ordered as part of the initial divorce documentation is inappropriate, too high, or otherwise problematic, it can be tempting to avoid making payments until the issue is resolved. Unfortunately, doing so will place you in violation of a court order and could make it more difficult for you to obtain shared, partial, or full custody later in the proceedings. Withholding support is never the best option.

Paying support on time is critical to your case

You should make every effort to pay your required amount in full, on time, and via the courts until you can have your support levels reviewed and possibly adjusted. This is why it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as you find out you’re divorcing. An attorney understands the lengthy, bureaucratic process involved in requesting a child support review hearing as well as what evidence will help the court rule in your favor. Having an attorney present your case for support reduction ensures that everything is done properly and that you aren’t incurring legal risk in the meantime.

The more you make, the more is at risk

The higher your family income and standard of living, the more support the courts will generally believe is necessary to uphold that standard of living during and after the divorce. Certain things, like prenuptial agreements and the division of marital debt can impact the final support order as well. Even if your soon to be former spouse has not retained an attorney during the process of filing the initial divorce paperwork, it’s a good idea to retain a lawyer for yourself. An attorney can aid in protecting your financial future and helps ensure that the final divorce decree will be as fair to all involved as possible. Don’t risk legal fallout due to nonpayment or financial burden due to inappropriate support levels. Hire an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible.