Too much support


My ex, that I pay support to, has lost their job. My child goes to an expensive preschool. My ex wants me to give her more money in support and is threatening to go to the state unless I give more money (almost double what I am now paying). I really can’t afford to give them more because I am stretched to the limit financially now. If I am forced to give more, I will end up losing my car or home then my job. The worst thing is I will not have a home for my child to stay with me when I keep them every week.

Can I be forced to pay so much that I lose everything? That would not be in the best interest for my child.


Your ability to pay does factor into the child support equation.

  • Not an attorney*

You cannot be forced into anything unless a judge order’s an increase. Just because the X lost their income does not mean your financially responsible.
(IF) the X takes you to court on this , I seriously doubt the judge will order an increase after looking at your financial status. Besides, if the X lost their
job, it’s possible they are without funds for an attorney, the X will have to do the pro-Se route if underfunded.

Your X will have to do what others have done, and that is live on a reasonable budget and reduce or drop “entertainments” that will make
life more affordable for themselves & child. Maybe looking into a more affordable school is another option for the 2014/2015 school year.
Also-- If the X is unable to care for the child financially… maybe the child should move in with you?? Anyway, just a thought. Best of luck


*** Not a lawyer either ***

This is (mostly) true, as it’s the flip side of the “I lost my job and can’t afford to pay child support anymore” complaint: once the court orders child support, it requires another court order to modify it.

The exception would be if the child support was being paid under a separation agreement with provisions for “automatic” adjustment.

What the judge would most likely do is (1) look for changed circumstances, and (2) redo the child support worksheet. Hopefully imputing reasonable income to the ex if she’s still without a job. This might result in the support order going up or down, depending on the circumstances (and, unfortunately, usually without regard for the ability of the obligor to actually pay the amount and still meet other expenses).

So re-doing the child support worksheet yourself would be a good way to get an idea of what she really could get.

If she goes to DSS and gets various forms of welfare, then DSS might be the ones to bring it to court. When CS is collected through the state, DSS gets their cut first to pay back the welfare they provide. And also the more CS that is collected through the state under Title IV-D, the more federal funding the state gets.


Thanks Saddaddy,

I have a question…

He mentioned he was already paying child support, so how can his X go to DSS and get assistance? Most cases at DSS
are parents who receive nothing (priority cases) and occasional support. Rarely does DSS jump on a case of adequate continual support (note: I’m not suggesting its not possible they wont get involved, but if hes paying continually, its not a priority). IF he is paying over $1300 in child support or alimony & child support or any of her income to include unemployment exceeds $1300 (for her and 1 child), she will NOT even qualify for food stamps. Income taxes are also rolling around the corner and those child credits do help to supplement income (or no income).

so another question …
What can he do to maintain his own standard of living without going broke? (His question really :)…
… but thanks for breaking down my responses, I learned a few things.


*** Still not a lawyer ***

Maybe she couldn’t get the assistance, but that may not stop her from trying. And if the state can make it a Title IV-D case they get more federal money. A lot probably depends on the particular people at the particular DSS office.

It doesn’t sound like he has any financial room to negotiate with the ex to try to keep her out of court, so it’s really up to whether she does go to court or to DSS and then they help her take it to court.

So about all he can do is prepare for the possibilities: try to cut back on expenses to save some money in case he needs to get a lawyer, look at what the likely outcome is if the judge does adjust support, and be the best dad he can be to the child (both for its own sake and to head off a possible attempt to further increase the support order by reducing custody). And document everything possible, just in case.

Do remember I could be wrong about anything or everything. I just read a lot.


*** Probably will never be an attorney***

Thanks Saddaddy,
I think and believe your very informative. :slight_smile:
Thanks for the advice.


You should continue to pay the amount ordered or agreed upon. If your ex files a motion to modify child support, the court will usually take the actual child care costs into consideration, but you may argue that the costs are unreasonable due to the situation. Your ex may also ask the court to deviate from the guidelines, basing this request on the fact that she needs more to pay for school. Deviation is usually used when there are special circumstances that require additional funds, and I believe it would be difficult to make an argument that the cost of a regular preschool would warrant a deviation, but that would not stop her from attempting to make the argument.