While you really want to do all that you can to care for and provide for the welfare of your children, the reality is that child support payments can become quite a burden on your monthly budget. While the courts try to create child support payments that impose no undue burden on either parent, the truth of the matter is that this can be taxing. It can be difficult to make your monthly payments while also still being able to provide for your own well-being, especially if you have other children.
There are those who are looking for a way that might assist them to get out of their child support payments. It’s not that they don’t want to care for their children but would like to find a way that they can keep the money themselves and use it as they deem necessary.
One way that some fathers have considered is seeking custody of the child himself. Either through petitioning the court for joint custody or by asking the court to grant full custody to the father, the man feels that this is the way to get out of child support payments. The question is, does that work?
Getting Custody Does Not Guarantee Payments Will Stop
Before discussing gaining full custody, it is important to dispel one idea right away. If you are granted joint custody by the court, this does not automatically guarantee that child support payments would end. While you may have the child for an equal amount of time as the mother, the court may still feel that you are obligated to make payments to ensure that the welfare of the child continues at current levels.
For example, if you are providing support that pays for such things as schooling or education, medical insurance, sporting or other extracurricular activities and other kinds of payments like this, those are not going to end simply because a child is living with you. They are still going to need to go to school, play sports or be involved in dance, and have their health needs taking care of. Your support is likely going to remain the same so that these services can be provided.
The only way you will see any reduced amount of support requirement is if the court deems that other costs would go down for the mother, so your support payment should go down. This could be the case if the court finds that there would be less of a cost for food or other incidentals. However, because the mother may be receiving support to provide a home for the child, you really may see no reduction at all.
If the Payee Receives Full Custody the Payments Will Stop
If your plan is to gain full custody of your child, you should be aware that if you were granted full custody, you would not be required to make child support payment anymore. However, you should also know that the court is not just going to grant you custody because you want it or because you are looking to reduce your child support payments. There has to be an exceptional circumstance that the court would feel obligated to remove custody of the child or children from the mother and grant you full custody.
The two most common reasons are in the case of neglect or abuse. If the child is in some kind of danger due to either one of these circumstances, then it is likely that the judge is going to have them removed. It is the first obligation of the court to make sure the children are safe, and any parent who is putting them in danger is deemed unfit.
Be aware that you need to have credible evidence for this kind of action to be taken by the court. If there is a genuine risk to the children, then you should definitely bring this to the court’s attention. You should have as much cooperating evidence to support whatever claim that you have, as the court is not just going to accept your word for it. Having medical records, reports from school officials, pictures, or other kinds of images can help you to support your case for why the children should be removed from the mother and you should be granted custody.
Seek Out Legal Advice Before Taking Action
Before you decide to go to court and petition to have your children taken away from their mother, it is a good idea if you consult an attorney first. This is a very serious matter, and the court is trying to ensure that they are acting in the best interests of the children. If they even suspect that you are making allegations based upon a desire to simply get the children away from the mother, this can lead to an extremely negative set of consequences for you.
At JacksonWhite, setting up a consolation give you the chance to discuss your circumstance and help you to decide what actions you should take. We can advise you on the likelihood of the success of your action and represent you should you decide to retain us.
This is a very serious decision to be making, and not one you should be doing solely to avoid paying child support. You are going to be caring for your children as the primary custodial parent should you decide to move forward, and you need to make sure that your own selfish motives are not your primary motivator.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.