AITA for demanding and making my husband file a court review to reduce child support for his other child?

  1. You would think this but a good friend of mine went thru something similar. Her hubby was laid off from his job and then rehired a month later at a lower pay (he worked by contract). Proved to the judge that his pay was about 30% less than before. Judge agreed but stated that "between his pay and his wife's pay (my friend) they could maintain the same child support". Which really pissed off my friend. Not that she had any problems with the kids but the youngest was in 8th grade, the other two in high school. And the ex didn't work. At all. So my friend was basically paying all of their bills while nearly all of his paycheck went to child support. And they didn't have any kids between them. Ugh!

  2. The judge also never said "You need to keep up Connor's lifestyle even if that means you're on food stamps or borrowing from others to eat." That would be insane and Connor'smom is WAY out of line for expecting that.

  3. Also adding, the ex is only thinking of herself. OP, just tell her your kid and all of you were suffering before - now it’s evenly balanced. She can’t fault you for not wanting to hurt either kid, and making it fair. But that means her kids support had to go down to make it fair.

  4. My dad has never paid child support for me and my three brothers. It's been approximately 20 years since my parents divorced. He owes over $250k in back child support. He just left the US, went back to his home country (Wales) and started a new family. Dickbag.

  5. Child support enforcement is a complete mess in my area. There's really no rhyme or reason. I've known guys that do get charged being only one day late. I've known women that haven't seen a penny in over a decade and can't even get anyone in the child support division to return their calls. It's just very confusing why the laws aren't applied the same in every case.

  6. Seriously! My friend (she’s older; kids are all adults now) was telling me tonight her ex owes her over $80k in back child support but because they’re adults he doesn’t have to pay as much per month so she gets seven freakin dollars a month from him. Fuck you money if you will. Absolutely wild.

  7. i (F) have to pay child support to my ex. at the time, the court order was far above what the state mandates indicated i was supposed to pay, and for a very long time that order was taking anywhere from 50%-70% of my disposable income. i literally could not support myself after what they took.

  8. NTA. If bio mom and your husband were still married, the stepson's quality of like would have been diminished years ago. This is how life works. You shouldn't starve one child to keep the other in Gucci.

  9. This was what I was wondering too. How is it equitable for a child to live better off of child support than he otherwise would if his parents never divorced? Wouldn’t that just create a perverse incentive for people to divorce other people at the height of their careers so that they get stuck paying x amount?

  10. NTA. A lot of people might not agree with me, but a percentage of salary is fairer than a fixed amount that doesn't take into account a salary reduction. Also, he has two children - why should the one he lives with live in poverty whilst the other has a nice life? He should care about this.

  11. The reason it's often a set amount rather than a percentage is because The System is aware of a lot of non-custodial parents who end up working significantly under the table to avoid paying child support. Not agreeing/disagreeing, just saying that's why, even if it appears unfair.

  12. I don't know. 30% of an income for someone who lives paycheck to paycheck makes it incredibly hard to make ends meet, 30% of someone who makes $500.000 a year is significantly less hard. I would go with something along the lines of a certain percentage of income above the poverty line or something.

  13. Yup. Plus, he's equally responsible for supporting both children, and there's no way he can do that if 85% of his pay check is going towards CS for just one of them.

  14. Right?! If he had gotten the lower paying job while still with the ex, Conner's standard of living still would have gone down. Circumstances change! NTA

  15. NTA - the child support system is designed that way for a reason, 85% of his salary is absolutley nuts. Im in Australia, our system rolls over automatically at the end of each financial year to adjust payments based on both parents' incomes which is fair (you can ask for an adjustment at any time too if you provide proof of income change)

  16. Our system is just as broken though. It would work better (but not perfectly) if everyone did exactly the right thing, but that obviously isn't what happens. It's a mess.

  17. Our system is good, but it definitely requires people to do the right thing though too. I'm also in Australia and my good friend (who also happens to be the mother of two of my nieces) receives almost nothing in child support from her ex (my BIL). He pays sporadically and has reported that he has no job or income and hasn't done tax returns (apparently) for a couple of years now to avoid having to pay for the girls... The law will catch up with him eventually, in the meantime she has to do it alone essentially!

  18. NTA - your husband can’t pay what he doesn’t have. This is the exact reason why courts allow for revisions. You did this to survive. Block the ex. There’s no reason for you to communicate with her.

  19. NTA. He's still valiantly paying best he can. He has another child to think of as well. You're asking for survival purposes, not bc you don't like the kid or need a new Gucci bag.

  20. NTA. This isn’t him downgrading his employment or leaving a job to get out of child support, he legitimately had a decrease of circumstances so how much he pays should decrease.

  21. If he hadn't remarried and he lost his job and then paid 85% of his wages in child support he'd have been to court much sooner for the revision. It only went on for so long because OP was there, able to cover him financially.

  22. NTA, there’s a reason why you’ve got to update the court if your income/job changes. In a couple of states it’s just a flat percentage, while in a good chunk of states it’s based on what each parent brings to the table financially.

  23. NTA. If Tom was still with his son's mother and had the same circumstances, it would still change the child's quality of life. The child is being taken care of, what more could be expected?

  24. NTA. Child support is based on income, not whatever lifestyle a child wishes he or she had ( or, in this case, the one his mom wants). The judge ruled on what is fair for your husband to pay. It is incredibly unreasonable for anyone to expect 85% of someone’s paycheck go to child support. Good for you for standing up for your husband and your family!

  25. NTA: What you suggested is perfectly logical. Child support should be a percentage according to what he earns, and shouldn't be putting him on the bones of his ass.

  26. NTA Specially because a judge backed up and determined the decision. Like, at the end of the day is not like the judge took this decision because you asked, they reviewed the case and determined this was the best. Probably when/if your husband has a better job, he will be able to send more child support.

  27. NTA sounds sensible and logical and fair to me. He can’t pay that anymore. End of. And you shouldn’t have to suffer, or your child, to keep paying at a level that is no longer commensurate with what your husband earns.

  28. NTA. It’s not like he’s hiding income or took a pay cut voluntarily; his ability to provide was substantially reduced by factors beyond his control. That would still have happened if he had stayed with his ex and would have impacted his ability to support Connor in their hypothetically-intact household, and it’s exactly what the child-support revision process is for. He should have done it on his own, and when he didn’t you were being a responsible adult and parent by nudging him.

  29. Ask his ex how she enjoyed your child’s lunch for all these years. That is what this huge chunk of excessive child support is.

  30. EXACTLY. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing that my child’s sibling was starving. You don’t have to love his other parent to give a shit about his sibling. This ex is a monster.

  31. NTA. He should of had it fixed as soon as he was making less. The ex sounds spoiled knowing your situation and not caring that she was robbing your child of the same quality of life because she didn’t want payments to go down due to financial change.

  32. NTA. I agree w/you, it's not fair to his child that he has w/you, and lowering the payment to his ex is reasonable if his financial situation has changed.

  33. NTA. Child support isn't for "quality of life" it's to even the playing field and make sure the child gets equitable benefits from each parent. Child support will not keep a family out of poverty unless the parent owing is quite wealthy. Fair is fair. In most places, there are limits on how high child support can be.

  34. NTA But this should've happened the moment he got the lesser paying job. The child support is 30% for a reason, 85% is simply insane.

  35. NTA. You have a legitimate reason to reduce the child support. You’re not cheating or trying to get around the system. Don’t worry about what his wife says and live your life.

  36. NTA. Child support can and legally should be adjusted based on income. Even if your husband wouldn’t have thought of it on his own, it’s completely reasonable to ask for an adjustment.

  37. Forcing your spouse to get a judge (a neutral party) to make a decision that was best for his child is not a bad thing.

  38. You didn’t lower your stepson’s quality of life. Circumstances did that for everyone. It sounds like the child support just had to catch up to life’s new circumstances.

  39. The courts have the final say. And take into account income coming in. I would be wondering if husband told his ex he was influenced by you than owning up to it was causing a financial hardship. I wouldn’t let the ex know you had to reason with him that it needed to be done. Once your sister had to help that was hitting almost the bottom of the barrel. And doubt the ex knows or would care if she knew. But tempting would be him owning up to that in order to eat he had to have outside help. And that was when he knew. NTA. Feel sure if money improves and she suspects it, she will be quick to ask the courts for more.

  40. NTA You did not make this change happen....the court did. You can always go back to court asking for changes in child support (both sides can), but it's entirely up to the judge to decide if it should be amended. Obviously, they believed it should.

  41. That is why there is a revision process for child support, it isn’t always so it can be increased. Sometimes life happens and it needs to decrease. It was not ok that your son had to suffer at all. Nta!! Baby mama just bitter it wasn’t what she wanted it to be.

  42. NTA. Please do not feel bad. The EX was clearly expecting you and your hubby to set yourselves of fire to keep her and the step son warm. Please keep a record of the txt messages from the ex and maybe get a lawyer. If this continues it could be considered harassment depending on laws where you are at. This may not have to go that far but please do not think you or your husband should be dealing with that BS from the EX. Remember if the court thought otherwise the amount would not have changed.

  43. I had many documents proving that it was unfeasible and it helped that he had a child with me, by the law of my country he has to give the same quality of life to all children. There were documents from the real payment, me asking my sister for help to have food at home, literally a medical report saying that I had a burn-out that caused me to faint and have an accident because I had to bend over to have a good condition in house because of this child support value. (add: all this showing that it was interfering in the other child's life)

  44. NTA. It would be no different if the stepson was living with you full time and no child support. Your financial situation has changed and unfortunately that means everything is a little tighter and maybe the kids can't do as much as before. Sucks, but that's the reality.

  45. NTA- the ex has some nerve to be texting you. She has no business texting you, shes so dumb, next time she does tell her to get a job and stop complaining..

  46. NTA. There's a difference between trying to weasle out of support and genuinely not being able to pay it. Child support shouldn't bankrupt you. Im going through the same thing with my fiance. Used to make more money and doesn't anymore. His ex is pissed........but I don't feel bad because she spends the checks on vacations to Greece and we can't afford to go out of town for a weekend. It's supposed to equalize between households not keep one household happy and the other in the bread line.

  47. If he wasn't in a relationship how would he survive when 85% of his income was taken away, he'd be living in his car. NTA

  48. I’m so happy the judge reduced the payments. It’s not fair to you guys killing yourselves to pay all that child support, as the judge said it was beyond your husbands means. Also screw his ex wife for getting mad at you and her trying to maintain her lifestyle. Look a Britney Spears ex, some people never go to work again living off child support.

  49. Nta he has 2 kids and shouldn’t have to give up 85% of his income a month for one child when his child has a mother who should also be working to provide for her child and him and he was an ah for not realizing the problem sooner than later.

  50. NTA. If financial situations change then child support needs to be readjusted. I’m not sure why he would be an asshole for that or why you would be.

  51. NTA. There was only 15% percent of his salary left. She has no right to get mad. You guys need to money to live and she was taking all of it. Your stepson will be just fine. You are not lowering the quality of his life, she is just mad that she might have readjust her lifestyle. Taking 85% percent of his salary is absurd. If anything your son was suffering because of her greed.

  52. NTA not sure where you live, but where I am child support is a simple calculation based on income of the parents, how much time the child spends with which parents, and how many other children the payor has. It’s done like that to take the emotional turmoil out of it: all the kids need support. The judge didn’t adjust the payment because you demanded it, he adjusted the payment because the new payment is more fair for your circumstances.

  53. NTA- he’s a good dude for wanting to keep paying to help support his kid, but he should not be contributing that much of his paycheck. he also needs to be able to help support your household.

  54. NTA!!! She wouldn't be complaining if his pay increased and the support increased because she would definitely file for an increase. It's a reason it's based on your income.

  55. NTA You are doing right by your own son. 85% of his paycheck going to one child while 15% goes to your household of three is Ludacris

  56. I had to do the EXACT same thing. I filed the modification myself. It was during Covid and he was ordered to pay almost $200 a week. The process was exhausting and so stressful. The modification kept getting rescheduled for over a year. We were so far in debt by the time it was lessened. Terrible time. His ex is being an ass and selfish.

  57. NTA. Don't feel ashamed. Your son is your priority and you shouldn't be the only one providing financial support. If your husband was so worried about his other kid's quality of life, he should have gotten another job then. That kid's quality of life isn't your problem. Husband's salary goes down, support goes down. Your quality of life was affected as well because of it.

  58. NTA. You have to look out for your child, and maybe your husband couldn’t find a job which paid the same amount, but you and your son shouldn’t suffer to satisfy his ex-wife.

  59. NTA. You have had to tighten your belt and obviously your husband and son have too. It’s no one’s fault, life sometimes deals a sh***y blow or two. But that also means that the other child also has to have a reduced payment. You can’t give what you don’t have. It may have come as a hard blow to his ex, but it is what it is. He is still paying support, it’s not as if he has wiped the child from his life.

  60. NTA the ex is being ridiculous and I say this as someone with 3 kids whose ex has had times keeping or finding work at times. When a parent makes less money, they can afford less support. It sucks but it’s just reality.

  61. Nta child support is to only support the child and shouldn't be seen or used as the only form of support by the custodial parent to raise the child. Especially since you guys still got the child every other week.

  62. NTA but your husband is. He should’ve asked for a reduction a long time ago. I understand him wanting to do stuff for his child but he could’ve found cost effective things to do or ways to help. He put it on you and your household and that’s unfair.

  63. NTA. When people lose employment, everyone’s standard of living is effected. Honestly, I think you were silly for not doing it sooner. You could’ve saved some of the extra money into college funds or the like. I hope you’re fully recovered now.

  64. In the US state I live in, if you divorce, the child’s life is intended to stay the same as before divorce so the supports is made accordingly by %. Mom has a responsibility to support him as well so she could tributes a portion to his support based on her % of total family income. This is automatically reviewed every three years, or earlier if something extreme changes that is not short term. Mom was just loving the extra income and was supporting her lifestyle, not Connor’s, guaranteed. I bet she also made him pay half of all extracurricular expenses on top of support and half of all medical. So now she has to adjust and doesn’t like it. Too bad. OP, you are NTA. You are not responsible for supporting the child, he is. And if he isn’t making the income to do so a review of the support was necessary.

  65. NTA - but why are you working double and taking care of household to the point you collapse from stress?! Why isn’t he contributing to chores and child rearing?!

  66. You are NTA at all. Your stepsons mother gets child support which is to HELP take care of the kid. It is not an income for the both of them.

  67. NTA at all but your husband needs to curb his ex. This is a matter between them and she shouldn't be texting you and insulting you. If you haven't told your husband about the texts I'd do so and ask him to tell her to back off.

  68. NTA, that is a very reasonable thing to do for someone whose income decreased through no fault of their own, your husband SHOULD have thought to do it autonomously, but since he didn't, you had every right to make him do it, that was just looking out for your own child. No one who has two children should ever pay more than 50% of their income towards one child's child support, and I suspect either Connor's mom is an entitled asshole or She was not fully aware of your husband's financial situation (possibly both).

  69. NTA, your husband was setting you both on fire to keep his other son warm, and that is not okay, it's not sustainable at your current income levels.

  70. NTA. I worked as a child support professional for 15+ years. The way child support is calculated in the US is a shared income model and is used because it should represent the financial support the child would receive if the parents were in the same home. If they were still together, your husband wouldn’t be supporting his son based on his old income but his current income. Support should always be based on current income, and ‘right-sized’ orders are more likely to pay current support and not end up in arrears.

  71. Uhmnn, like NTA, he earns less money, adjusting child support proportionally to his current salary is only fair. If he gets a better job in the future, your husband can adjust it again.

  72. NTA Yes, he lowered his son's quality of life when he lost his high paying job and therefore his ability to pay high amounts of child support. He also lowered his own quality of life in the same way. Even if he were still together with the son's mother, the kid's quality of life would have been lowered by the job change. With child support as a fixed percentage, if he gets a raise or better job, so does the son. As it normally works within a family.

  73. NTA, so the ex doesn't want her son's quality of life to lower but is okay with your son's quality of life being worse, hypocrite much? I think she's been using part of the child support on her quality of life (not stepsons) and is mad she's losing part of her monthly allowance, imo.

  74. NTA, there is no way that your husband paying 85% of his salary was sustainable. It stinks that it hurts the kid - and it's the same lifestyle change that would occur if he and his ex were a family unit. Bad times happen.

  75. NTA. If Tom had never divorced Connor's mother, Connor's quality of life would have been directly (and immediately!) impacted when Tom lost the higher paying job two years ago. Connor (and probably his mother by extension) have been enjoying an artificially higher quality of life than the "family income" can sustain because your husband wouldn't advocate for himself.

  76. NTA: The judge gets to decide. The ex has no say. Child support stuff is so incredibly whacked, what that ex is saying, is that you are reducing her quality of life.

  77. NTA, This is a no brainer. The child support has to be based on what he can afford, not whatever number his ex wants to see.

  78. NTA. He was paying much more than he needed to be paying and you corrected it. You have done nothing wrong. If that child needs additional income his mother can work some extra hours.

  79. NTA Tom chose to have another kid knowing his salary could change. He’s deciding not to advocate for his youngest son and current partner because his current partner subsidizes him anyway.

  80. NTA. 85% of his salary is much too high. Life changes happen and his ex can figure out how to adjust her child's life on the reduced child support.

  81. NTA. Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm. If hubby wants to pay more CS to his other son, he can start working more or find a another job.

  82. NTA. It’s no different than what would have naturally occurred if Conner lived in the house with his dad or if his parents never split. When a providing parents income decreases, so goes the “quality of life”. When/if his income reaches the higher status again, he can resume higher payments.

  83. Sounds like his oldest son's mom is mad because she because she was use to the extra income. Now she has to change her life style to and actually use the money for the child because I bet she didn't use all of it for the child.

  84. Absolutely NTA in any way or form. Hoping things get better for your family from now on!

  85. NTA- I'm all about paying your fair share because a child needs to be supported but 85% of the income going to child support isn't feasible. There's no way to live off 15% that's just ridiculous.

  86. NTA. child support is supposed to be revisited when there’s a massive job/income change. It also sounds like ex was keeping a tight leash so he won’t try to change her lifestyle.

  87. NTA. (& your English is perfectly fine. If you hadn’t said anything, I would have assumed it was your native language.)

  88. Absolutely NTA. The judge ruled in your favor because it was clear that your husband was no longer able to pay as much. Not because he didn’t want to or because he doesn’t care about his child. If his mother is so concerned with her child’s “quality of life” then she can get off her ass and find a job that can help her sustain the lifestyles that her and her son are used to

  89. NTA. The purpose of child support is to provide for the child as he would be provided as i the providing parent and custodial parent were still together. If he was not divorced and he had the same job and financial situation Connor and the ex would have adjusted to the new income and lifestyle. Connor is not entitled to the life style at the time of divorce. That’s unconscionable and exactly why the formula based on compensation and process to adjust child support accordingly, higher or lower, exists. The ex is just being an AH and does not understand the law and is greedy.

  90. NTA, the ex wife was being unreasonable, circumstances changed, guess she pilfered the child support to spend on herself. Hence the hate calls towards OP.

  91. NTA, when his job changed along with his salary the judge should have been contacted to reduce cs accordingly. 30% is fair. Conner ‘quality of life’ is reduced but so is everyone else’s.

  92. NTA, tell her that now things are more even as they should be. It’s not right for him to pay more then he could afford. Tell her your child and your family were suffering and the court wouldn’t do anything hurt her child. He may not be able to gave all the bells and whistles anymore but it’s only right now that he has another son to take care of.

  93. NTA. You did what was right for your family. Because your husband shouldn’t neglect your son just so the other kid can keep his lifestyle.

  94. NTA. A reduction hearing should've been scheduled as soon as your child was born because that factors in how much he pays as well assuming the new kid is his as well.

  95. NTA, I work in child support. You are more then correct in requesting a modification based on a change of circumstances and income. That is the responsible thing to do. Loss of a job is life, if they were still together as an intact family he still would have lost his job and made less money. You can’t pay what you don’t make.

  96. NTA. First off realistically Conor isn’t getting much of the child support the ex is just using it for herself which is really why she’s mad you want it lowered. Second you 2 have a baby so you need your own money to take care of that. Third 85% of his income is ridiculous

  97. NTA. It’s his job to make sure that his son is provided for, but it’s not YOUR job, and that’s what it’s been. You can’t survive the way you’ve been.

  98. NTA. Of course, the amount should have adjusted based on his salary. His son's lifestyle would have needed to adjust if he were still married to his mother.

  99. NTA. When there are income changes, it's always supposed to be reported to the court- whether higher or lower so child support can be adjusted accordingly.

  100. NTA your baby should go without so his other child gets so much? It should be equitable. Also, his ex had 10 years to work on her ability to support their child and clearly didn’t.

  101. Nta. As a person that pays child support I would absolutely say you did the right thing. Child support is supposed to be a certain percentage of your income. If your income is significantly decreased Your child support obligation should go down. There's a lot of problems with the child support system but this is the one protection that you have should you run into financial difficulties due to the loss or changing of a job. You are completely correct and doing what it takes to pakes to best advantage yourself and take care of your home obligations in asking for a review.

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