If your ex-spouse has physical custody of your children, there's a considerable chance that you're making child support payments to him or her. You may continue to do so for years, but you should be aware of how changes in your children's living arrangement could impact your support payments. A common example is that your children start living with you. There can be many different reasons for this arrangement, including your ex struggling with drugs or alcohol or perhaps even becoming incarcerated. If you've experienced this change, you obviously don't want to be making payments to your ex — without custody of the children, your ex may use the money for other reasons. Here are some steps that you should take with the help of your family attorney to end having to makes child support payments.
Assess The Longevity Of The Change
Before you take any action, you should assess the situation. Think about how long your children have been living with you and for what reason. You don't want to go to the effort of ending your child support payments only to have your children return to your ex's custody in a short amount of time. It should be clear to you that the children's new living arrangement with you has a high degree of permanency. Talk to your family attorney about the situation to get some insight on how long you should wait before moving forward. This differs in every situation.
Don't Simply Stop Making Payments
Even if your children are now living with you, this doesn't give you the right to simply stop making child support payments to your ex. Remember, making these payments is lawful, and even if you believe that you no longer need to make them, you cannot stop without a legal change in the child support arrangement. A stop in your payments can get you into legal trouble, which is the last thing that you want at this time.
Begin Legal Proceedings
Talk to your family law attorney about your situation and state that you want to stop making child support payments because they're now living with you. You'll need to provide proof that they're living with you and how long this arrangement has been going on, as well as why it will likely continue this way. The attorney can then put together paperwork to present to a family court judge with the hopes of ending your legal obligation to pay child support.