What happens when your soon to be ex husband says he can't afford child support?

Can he argue to get out of child support or lower it from the standard 20% of his pay? And would the courts allow that if he says he can't afford it? By the way, he doesn't want custody and he can afford it. Even after he pays all his bills (and the child support) he would have hundreds(almost 1,000) left for the rest of the month. I make about half of what he makes.

30 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    No, he can't argue that -- well, actually- he can- but, the courts aren't going to care - they have a set limit- and they will stick with it - they look out for the best interest of the child- not the best interest of the guy or the girl- but, the child - assuming the child lives with you.. they will not lower it for him..

  • 1 decade ago

    My answer is predicated on an assumption that you are in the U.S.

    Whether or not he feels he can "afford" child support is not an issue. He fathered the children. You two are getting divorced and you will be the primary parent for the kids. He WILL be ordered to pay child support.

    Collecting it is another matter...

    In the U.S., if he works for a "regular" employer, it's virtually guaranteed that it will be deducted from his paycheck and sent to you via the court.

    If he is self-employed or works as a manager in a business where he is in charge of writing the payroll checks, he can avoid it easily. Technically, he would be put in jail - or even finally prison if he keeps it up for years - but that's not likely to happen. If things get dicey for him, he'll pay for a few months and then stop when the pressure of jail is off of him.

    By the way, there is no "standard 20% of his pay" rule. The court in which you are divorcing will have a schedule of child support based on each parents' income. Your attorney can detail what the court would order him to pay.

    Generally child support guidelines are going to provide that the children will have the same household income with their custodial parent that would be provided if the divorce never happened (since we're not dealing with millions of dollars in your situation). but your combined incomes were split in half - but probalbly a good bit more going to the custodial parent. Again, in different court jurisdictions your mileage may vary on this point.

    Now if you were in a nasty custody battle - with him threatening to take your children away - you might agree to less child support than would normally be ordered (or some workaround to achieve the same result), but it sounds as though he has no interest in custody.

    Basically these are all questions you should be asking your lawyer. And don't think you can divorce without one. If you try to divorce without an attorney you wil almost certainly be "cheated" (to put it mildly).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Just turn it over to the court and make sure you open a case with CSEA. They will determine how much he can pay according to his current income. No matter what it is they will take out the standard percentage. CSEA will also audit both of you every two years to look for changes in income. So if he does make more in the future he will pay more child support. You can also request an audit at any time if you know he has a new job or is making more money.

    Don't worry he won't get out of paying child support. Request that he pay all travel costs for visitation both ways since he does not want to take any responsibility for the children.

    Please Please go through the *Child Support Enforcement Agency* to get your payments. Do NOt let him pay you directly. If he wants to get nasty he won't pay then you'll have to go back to court to get your money. If you have a case with CSEA they will just garnish his wages. I learned this the hard way.

    Good Luck!

    Source(s): Been there got the T-shirt.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Family court is pretty standard in requiring income verification no matter what state you're in. Your lawyer will clue you in on the state you live in, but the short answer is anyone can request the amount be lowered, but unless the other party agrees it's very rare a family court judge would concur.

    Make REAL sure you can verify your income, have all the documentation you need when you get there. Here in NY the percentages are written in stone, they do the math for each parent, and that's what you pay, period.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The judge is going to look at his income, and his child support will be set by the judge. It sounds to me that he is looking for a way not to pay, so make sure that all payments go through the court. by doing this they will be able to track him, and can also take a a warrant if he makes it a habit of not paying.

    One of the reasons that men have such a problem with paying child support, aside from being greedy, is that they do not trust their x wives to spend the money appropriately for the children, and end up using the money to purchase clothing for thie rown self and not the children. this happened with my husband, he was paying his x a great sum of money for child support, but when the children needed clothing and shoes, she would tell them to ask their dad, so they did...he sat them all down and showed them his expenses and what was left for him to buy food and gas, they saw that he did not have enough, so they then went to their mom and wanted to see what she had to pay for... she refused, and called up my now husband and cursed him out. the children would say that she had something new that she bought herself every day.

  • 1 decade ago

    He says he can't afford child support?Awww..too bad! Are we just supposed to feel sorry for guys like this?Hell No!!Well the court feels the same way..they will arrange for your child support money to be garnished out of his check..as long as he has a job,he can afford it and the court will take care of it for you..there's no way he can get out of it..please..these guys are pathetic..while single mothers are working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet or having to go to school and work and take care of the kids!! We're supposed to feel sorry for these jerks?Ha! don't you worry everything will be fine..I went through this myself..

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When you bring him to court, he will have to show proof of income, so the judge will know exactly what he can afford. Even if he doesn't have a job, the judge will order child support on what he has the "potential" to earn, based on his education and previous job history. He won't be able to fool the judge, so don't worry. He will have to provide his paystubs and his tax returns. So, he can't just go to court and say he can't afford it. Go to your states child support website and you can find all of the specific laws regarding what he will have to pay.

  • JustMe
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I wouldn't worry. Most men use the "I can't afford it" excuse, but it rarely works. I've known men that actually couldn't afford the amount of support ordered, but the courts don't have much sympathy. Their first interest is the child's, not the parents, so they will tell him to get another job if he has to.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can have his wages garnished. Your soon to be ex just doesn't want to pay and doesn't care about anything where the children are concerned. I know someone who would never pay child support if his wages weren't garnished. I also have known a guy who did not pay support and went to jail. The money can be taken out of his check from his job and sent to you.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is typical child support BS. He's trying to bluff you into thinking you can't do anything, HA!

    Stay your course and let the court decide his payment schedule.

    In my State, support is based upon both the "Mans" income and the "Womans" income. Bills are irrelevant.

    What the court/judge orders, that will be what he will owe you to your child. No if's and's or but's !!

    Good Luck ! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT For your childs sake!!

    Source(s): Yeah, he probably can't afford to drive that new car, be he makes the payments ON TIME EVERY MONTH, think about the strategy !!
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