The Right Way to Stop Paying Child Support

By Last Updated: January 30th, 2023Categories: Raising

Paying child support is a major issue, especially for those who just got divorced. You see, marriage isn’t the only one affected by such matters. Children are also affected by such separation, not only emotionally but financially, too.

Child support is ordered by a family court according to certain conditions, and you can’t just default from paying it without any valid reasons. You are obliged to support your child, and if you ever disobey what the court says and the amount to be paid, you’d suffer penalties and jail time.

However, this doesn’t mean that there’s no other way to stop paying without facing consequences. In fact, there are conditions that can allow you to cease paying. On this page, we will discuss the valid reasons and the options you can take to stop paying child support the right way.

Part 1: How to Stop Paying Child Support

The only way to stop paying child support the right way is through filing requests and petitions in the family courts in your state or country. Only accredited courts that settle family disputes can give modifications or cease order

You can do it by arguing orally in court, but we suggest that you get a lawyer (you may seek the help of public lawyers if you don’t have enough money) and just submit a written argument. Writing is much wiser when you really want to stop paying child support. You can explain your case in detail without fear of making mistakes and unreasonable statements. You can have your written affidavit checked by your counsel or ask them for help.

Filing Petition

The most important thing in petitioning family courts about child support is your reason. It should be valid and reasonable. The judges in the family court will decide whether or not you can stop paying child support. They may also suggest modifications in the child support agreement like decreasing the amount and whatnot.

Part 2: Valid Reasons to Stop Paying Child Support

These are the most common reasons that can help you to stop paying child support without getting into trouble. However, they may only apply if the family laws in your country or state support them or if reviewed and granted by a family court.

Your Child Has Died

Child support is usually focused on supporting the kid’s education and needs by paying monthly. If your child has passed away recently, there’s no longer a point for you to send money to the guardian or your ex-spouse. In most cases, this situation automatically cancels your obligation.

The Child Is In Your Custody

The term child support will no longer apply to you in case the custody of the child is in your hands. You automatically cover full financial responsibility for the child and so paying monthly is no longer required.

Parent Child Playing

This can also be the case in case the former custodian of the child, your ex-spouse has passed, and the rights and responsibilities are transferred to you.

You May Lose Parental Rights

As mentioned, being in the custody of the child can make you avoid required child support. But if the child is not under your roof and you can’t or don’t want to pay monthly, losing your parental rights can do the trick. However, this method may be frowned upon as it’s like you don’t want to fight for your child.

When this happens, your obligation to pay is no longer in effect, but you may no longer be allowed to see or make decisions for your child. And since waiving your parental rights is serious, you have to prove to the family court that you are not fit to be a parent to the child.

Child Wants Emancipation

If your child is making money and can provide for themselves, you may convince your child to apply for emancipation. This is only possible if your child really wants to break free from you and their other parents.

However, your child needs to prove to the court that they can take care of their own business without a parent’s assistance. When emancipation is granted, your rights and responsibilities to your child are forfeit, and so you can stop paying child support effectively immediately.

Your Child Is of Legal Age

When your child turns 17 or 18, depending on the legal age requirement in your state or country, you are no longer responsible for their finances. With that, your monthly child support payments are immediately ceased without any legal risks.

Legal Age Child

It’s up to you if you still want to continue supporting your child financially, but know that it’s no longer required by law.

You and Your Ex Spouse are Back

If you and your ex-spouse resolved your issues after your divorce, child support may be stopped. This is especially the case if you both decided to re-marry each other and become a whole family again. In that situation, both of you are responsible for your child’s finances and education.

For legal purposes, you need to settle this in court and ask the judge for the child support to stop. You are no longer obligated to give monthly allowance to your spouse.for your kid.

You Are Sick and Have No Job

In cases where you are sick and suffering from a severe illness, the court may consider stopping your obligation to pay child support. This is especially considered if you have high-maintenance medication and you no longer have a means to earn extra for your child.

This may be proven with authentic medical records, termination papers, and with the consent of the other party.

Part 3: Alternative Ways to Continue or Stop Paying Child Support

Well, if the court doesn’t allow a full stop of child support payments, there are alternative routes that you may consider.

Method 1: Petition the Court To Lessen Payments

Whether it’s monthly or quarterly, having to pay huge amounts of money can be quite a huge burden especially if you don’t have a stable income. You may ask the court to lessen the amount to pay so you can breathe between your and your child’s needs.

Court Judge

You may need to submit proof that you are having a financial crisis. Documents such as bank statements, salary stubs, and records of monthly expenses may be required.

Method 2: Request To Stop Paying Child Support Temporarily

Sometimes, bad luck happens to us and we get jobless or unable to provide enough for ourselves. So, if you’ve been terminated from a job or got a huge salary cut, you may request the court to give you time to get back on your feet.

You may promise to continue paying after you’ve been paid by your new job. You may also assure the court that you will pay the missing months, too.

Requests like this may also be filed if you’ve been hospitalized or got into an accident recently, which leads you to increase personal expenses.

Method 3: Get A Part-time Job

If your full-time job is no longer enough to cover your expenses and your child support contributions, you may need to find a second job. It can help lessen the burden of your financial crisis and help pay child support consistently.

Store Clerk

You may apply as a cashier or store clerk in a convenience or grocery store. You may also try putting up your own small business to get more income.

Method 4: Get Support from The Government

In case you got no job or are sick, you may seek support from the government. This can be good if you’ve been paying your taxes and government insurance without lapses. You may also inquire about other services such as loans that can help you get back on your feet.

You may also try visiting your local government so you can be introduced to other social services in your community. Their official pages on Social Media sites may also give you more information.

Ending Note

To stop paying child support without the court’s knowledge is a dangerous path. You can’t just discontinue contributions on a whim. You need valid reasons to prove that you are unable to pay.

You may also consider negotiating with your ex spouse regarding the matter and settle certain modifications to the payments in court.


Purposely not paying child support is a crime. It can land you in jail for years and the court can order the seizure of your properties and bank accounts, depending on the laws in your country.

If you think you are going to miss paying child support contributions, you may contact your ex-spouse about it. You may make up for it once you have enough money. You may also petition the court for it.