Home / Alimony / In what cases is it permissible to reduce the amount of child support?

To reduce alimony, you must either reach an agreement with your ex-wife or present compelling and documented reasons in court. It is first necessary to carry out preparatory work aimed at collecting evidence. With its help, it is easier to convince the child’s mother of the need to reduce the amount of payments or convince the court of the fairness of the claims.

General provisions

The progress of the process aimed at reducing alimony depends on how exactly its amount was assigned. There are three options, namely :

  • By judgment or order;
  • By agreement between the child’s parents, certified by a notary;
  • By unspoken agreement.

In the first case, you have to go to court regardless of whether the other party agrees to reduce the amount of payments or not. The difference is that in the absence of a dispute between spouses, the procedure will be faster and cheaper:

  1. An application is being sent, not a lawsuit.
  2. The court must issue an order within 5 working days.
  3. The state duty is two times lower.

In addition, even if the parties resort to legal assistance for consultation and drawing up an application, its cost is significantly lower than full support for the consideration of the case in court.

In practice, you have to wait 15-30 days for the order to be issued . It is recommended to take this feature into account and not delay submitting your application.

Even if the parties do not disagree, the court has the right to reject the application if it turns out that a thorough hearing is required. For example, it turns out that these requirements violate the child’s rights to financial support, and therefore it is necessary to carefully study the circumstances of both spouses who agree to reduce the amount of obligations.

If the parties do not reach a consensus and the child’s mother is against reducing payments, she will have to draw up and submit a statement of claim. In this case:

  1. The state duty is paid in full.
  2. Full legal protection for each party is necessary.
  3. According to the law, the case is considered for a month, in practice the process can drag on for up to six months or more.

In the second case, if the amount of payments is established by agreement between the child’s parents, there are two options:

  • Drawing up a new document;
  • Filing a claim in court.

To draw up the next agreement, the consent of both parents is required. If there is one, you need to contact a notary who will help draw up the agreement and certify it. The lack of consensus on reducing the amount of alimony forces the payer to file a claim in court.

If the amount of child support is established by unspoken agreement between the child’s parents, the payer is required to be sensitive and careful in order to reduce the amount. On the one hand, there is no need to go to court or a notary for certification of a new agreement - there is neither a court document nor an agreement between the former spouses. On the other hand, it is difficult to prove that the child’s father paid child support all the time after the divorce, especially if the money was transferred personally from hand to hand.

In such cases, the spouse who has not agreed to a reduction in alimony and is faced with a fact may demand through the court payment of financial support for the child for the last three years .

To prevent this from happening, it is recommended:

  1. Carefully think through the conversation, prepare documents.
  2. In negotiations, maintain delicacy and avoid ultimatum forms of conversation.
  3. Document the fact of payment of alimony for the past period.

The latter can be done by offering to draw up and sign an agreement between the spouses. It is recommended to show that the child’s father has been paying alimony since the divorce, and indicate the order and amount. The document must be certified by a notary.

In general, these are the main areas of action aimed at reducing the amount of liabilities. The result depends on how strong the payer’s reasons are and how much it is possible to convince the other party or the court of a cause-and-effect relationship between the circumstances and the need to reduce payments.

How to file an objection to a claim?

This document is drawn up in any form, but with the obligatory indication of the following information and information:

  1. The name and address of the court in which it is filed;
  2. Information about the defendant in the case who is filing an objection - his full name, address of residence, contact telephone number;
  3. Information about the plaintiff - his full name, residential address, contact phone number.

All this information is indicated in the document header in the upper right corner. You should also indicate the date the document was compiled.

The document must contain its name - an objection to the statement of claim.

After this, you can begin presenting the main text. You can start with the phrase that the plaintiff filed an application with the court and indicate information about this application - its name, if any, the date of preparation and a brief content. Next, it should be indicated that the defendant does not agree with the plaintiff’s arguments set out in the application, and indicate on what grounds.

The reasons why the defendant does not agree with the claim can be listed in a numbered or bulleted list, or it can be presented without any sequence.

In his statement, the plaintiff may refer to various life circumstances, however, each of them must be comprehensively examined to determine whether it is worthy of attention.

Reasons for reducing the amount of payments

The reasons that give the right to reduce child support may relate to circumstances related to both the payer and the recipient of the money. In the first case, the reasons are :

  • Deterioration of health, registration of the first or second group of disability;
  • Loss of previous professional suitability, due to which total income decreases;
  • Loss of ability to work or a job and the inability to find a new one with the same salary;
  • The arrival of another child or dependent.

All of the above grounds give the right to carry out this procedure if a cause-and-effect relationship between the circumstances that have arisen and the need to satisfy the request or demand of the payer is proven.

For example, the child’s father’s health has deteriorated; according to the results of a medical and social examination, he is recognized as a disabled person of the first or second group. However, he was promoted, he began to earn more, or his income did not change. In this case, there is a high probability of the following:

  1. It will be difficult to convince your ex-spouse of the need to reduce payments.
  2. The court will not satisfy claims to reduce the amount of alimony.

Another group of grounds is related to changes in the child’s life, namely:

  • He got a job;
  • Began to engage in entrepreneurial activities;
  • Received property as an inheritance or gift.

A prerequisite is that the child must receive a significant income from activities, work or a gift with an inheritance, which fully or partially satisfies his material needs.

The third group of grounds includes:

  • The child is in state custody;
  • Excessively high income of the payer.

The more grounds for reducing the amount of alimony, the higher the chances that the payer’s requirements or request will be satisfied. However, all circumstances must directly and objectively indicate that there is an urgent need to reduce the amount of payments.

You can read more about the grounds for reducing alimony in this material.

Examples from judicial practice

As judicial practice shows, requests to reduce alimony are not always satisfied by the court. Consider the following situation: citizen N. filed a claim to reduce alimony payments on the basis that his 16-year-old son has his own income. During the trial, it turned out that the minor’s income was irregular and small, and he spent the money received from part-time work on his own education. The child still needed financial assistance from his parents, so the court did not satisfy the father's claim.

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In another situation, citizen A. filed a claim with the court to cancel alimony payments, arguing that his income had decreased and he needed to provide for his retired parents. The mother of the minor, citizen S., filed a counterclaim to increase child support payments. She explained her position by the presence of a chronic disease in the child, who needs medications, regular procedures and rehabilitation measures.

She also provided evidence that the father, other than financial assistance, did not participate in the child’s life in any way and was not interested in him. During the trial, doubts arose about the real decrease in the income of citizen A. It was found that he simply transferred part of his earnings to a “gray” salary. The court not only refused to satisfy the defendant’s claim, but also increased alimony payments, taking into account the hidden part of the income.

However, there are cases when the court sides with the plaintiff. Let's look at another practical example. Citizen R. asked the court to reduce alimony due to the birth of a second child in a new family (for more details, see the article: reducing alimony for the birth of a second child in a new marriage). There were no grounds for increasing payments for the first child - his mother’s income did not change, everything was in order with her health. The court granted the plaintiff's request and reduced the amount of payments taking into account the need to provide for the newborn and his mother.

Litigation regarding reduction or increase of alimony is always ambiguous and complex. In order to be sure that the court will satisfy your claim, you should contact a competent lawyer. The specialist will help collect evidence and prepare the necessary documents and will present the case in court.

Reducing the amount of child support: algorithm

The procedure for resolving an issue aimed at reducing child support depends on the following:

  1. What determines the amount of payments?
  2. What are the grounds, if any, for reducing them.
  3. Position of the child's mother.
  4. Relationships between ex-spouses.

If the parents of the children were able to maintain a good relationship after the divorce, this contributes to a positive resolution of the situation. Otherwise, there is a high probability that the child’s mother will deliberately and unreasonably reject any proposals from her ex-husband.

As stated above, if alimony is ordered by the court, you will have to go to court . If there is a notarized agreement, the issue can be resolved pre-trial. In both cases, the procedure has its own characteristics, but there are also general steps that are recommended to be completed and not skipped.

If an agreement has been drawn up

In this case, the payer has the opportunity to resolve the issue within one day. To do this you need:

  1. Have a conversation with your ex-wife, convince her of the validity of your arguments.
  2. Draw up and sign a new agreement.
  3. Have the document certified by a notary and send a copy to the accounting department at the payer’s place of work.

A notarized agreement has the force of a writ of execution.

But these steps are just the next stage of action, which is preceded by:

  1. Collection of preliminary documents.
  2. Consultation with a family lawyer.
  3. Collection of missing documents pointed out by the specialist.
  4. Preparing for a conversation with your ex-wife, drawing up a draft agreement.

That is, before going to the child’s mother, careful preparation is required . You can do without it, but in this case the chances of success are reduced. Conversely, careful preparation, argumentation, supported by documentary evidence demonstrates to the child’s mother that the ex-spouse:

  1. Treats her with respect.
  2. Objectively, he needs to reduce the amount of alimony.

Without the preliminary stage, the grounds look less convincing. In addition, an unprepared payer may not find an answer to any objection from the child’s mother. The result is that the pre-trial procedure for resolving the issue will fail. You can return to it again, after careful preparation, but the initial effect will be missed, the ex-wife is already in a negative mood.

Going to court

If you cannot do without this institution, you must:

  1. Carry out preliminary work as indicated above.
  2. Negotiate with your ex-wife to obtain her approval to reduce the amount of alimony.
  3. Draw up and send a statement or claim to the court.
  4. Defend your position during meetings.
  5. Receive a writ of execution.

In what cases a claim or statement is sent is indicated above. When preparing for court, you need to take into account that both it and the legislation traditionally guard the interests of children and single mothers . Therefore, the consideration of claims is approached without formalism.

If it is impossible to solve the problem without a trial, it is recommended to contact a family lawyer who:

  • Collect the necessary documentary evidence;
  • Correctly substantiate the plaintiff’s position in court;
  • Will adequately respond to the defendant’s objection.

In court, the payer cannot always restrain his emotions when reacting to the remarks of the child’s mother. This harms him and leads to denial of claims. A lawyer brought in for defense allows you to avoid mistakes of substantive and procedural law.

How to draw up a claim to reduce the amount of alimony and all the nuances of this procedure are written in a special article.

Questions and answers

My wife and I divorced 6 years ago. I helped my wife voluntarily for a long time. I paid a certain amount of money every month to raise our child. Recently my wife said that she doesn’t have enough money that I give. We discussed this issue with her, I said that I would try to increase the payments as much as I could. The wife did not wait and went to court to get a restraining order. She was given this order without even summoning me to court. This situation, of course, does not suit me, how can I file an objection to this alimony order?

Answer You can indeed file an objection to this court order. This must be done within ten days. In an objection, you can refer to various circumstances, it all depends on your situation. This may be a difficult financial situation or the presence of disability. In any case, it is necessary to understand this situation in more detail.

Recently there was a trial to collect child support from me. The judge said that I must pay 8,000 rubles a month for child support. This is a very large amount for me, because my salary is only 11,000 rubles. In addition, I have children from another marriage. Tell me, how can I formulate an objection?

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Answer In your situation, it is necessary to prepare an objection to the statement of claim. It will need to indicate the reasons why you do not agree with the decision made. Describe that the amount of alimony clearly does not correspond to your salary. You can also indicate that you have other children. The objection must be prepared in triplicate.

My ex-husband decided to file a claim to reduce the amount of alimony. Now he pays 25% of his salary. My husband has now had a second child. For this reason, he wants to reduce alimony. I want to file an objection to alimony, how can I do this?

Response The objection must state the reasons why you disagree. You can present your objection during the court hearing. In your situation, if the mother of your second child has not yet filed for child support, this may work in your favor. If alimony is also collected for the second child, then it will be reduced for your child.

My common-law husband and I live together; the marriage has not yet been officially registered. His ex-wife recently filed for alimony. My husband is officially not working right now. Alimony was set at a fixed amount. The common-law husband pays them in good faith. We recently found out that I am also pregnant. I would like my husband to file an objection to the amount of current alimony due to my pregnancy. Tell me, is it possible to do this before the birth of a child and without getting married?

Answer You need to wait until the child is born and then file an application for child support. After this, the husband will be able to file a claim to reduce the amount of alimony in connection with the birth of a second child.

I filed a claim in court to recover alimony from my ex-husband. He and I have two children, the second child is quite sick and requires constant treatment and care. In the application, I indicated that I want to receive alimony in a fixed amount of 10,000 rubles, and another 5,000 rubles for my maintenance, since I am caring for a child. The husband submitted an objection, in which he wrote that he was ready to pay 8,000 rubles a month. I don't agree with this amount. Do I need to write an objection?

Answer Our legislation does not prohibit this. You can present your arguments in writing if you did not indicate them in the statement of claim. In addition, during court hearings you will be given the opportunity to express all your arguments orally.

Required documents

If the legislator does not impose special requirements on the agreement, other documents are placed within a more stringent framework. The following must be remembered about the alimony agreement:

  • Its conditions must comply with current legislation;
  • Signed by both parents;
  • Notarization required.

Compliance with the law means that the amount of established alimony cannot be lower than that provided for by the provisions of the Family Code.

Claim requirements

They are specified in Article 131 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation. Failure to comply will result in the application being rejected and given a deadline for making corrections. The document must contain :

  1. Name of the institution, its address.
  2. Data of the defendant and plaintiff - first name, last name and patronymic, address of temporary or permanent registration, contact numbers.
  3. Title of the appeal.
  4. The essence of the requirements.
  5. Reasons for their satisfaction.
  6. Links to evidence and legal norms.
  7. Circulation price.
  8. List of attached documentary evidence.
  9. Date and signature of the applicant.

It is recommended to prepare a claim for reduction of alimony in a volume not exceeding 3 pages. This is an unspoken requirement, the violation of which sets the judge negative towards the applicant.

When specifying the defendant's address, it is necessary to take into account that it is to him that the court will send notices. If the defendant does not reside at that address, there will be no acknowledgment of notice to the other party. The result is that the court hearing will be postponed to another date, and the consideration of the issue will be delayed.

Additional Information

These include everything that confirms the circumstances set out in the claim. For example, if the applicant claims that his health has deteriorated and therefore he has lost his ability to work, the conclusion of a medical and social examination must be presented as evidence. A regular certificate from a clinic or hospital will not be enough.

Other documentary evidence includes:

  1. Certificates of marriage, divorce, birth and death.
  2. Certificates from the place of employment about the level of income of the payer and his family members;
  3. Certificate from local authorities on the minimum and average level of child support and wages in the region.
  4. An extract from the state register about the stage of bankruptcy at the enterprise where the plaintiff works.
  5. Receipt for payment of state duty.
  6. And other documents.

Numerous forums and legal websites indicate that copies of the certificate must be certified by a notary before filing in court. This statement is true if you do not carry the original submitted copies to meetings. Otherwise, there is no need to resort to the services of a notary and incur additional costs.

Submission procedure

After all the documents have been collected and the claim has been prepared, it must be filed. You can do this in three ways :

  • In person through the court office;
  • By post;
  • Through a trusted person.

In the first case, you must send a letter of recommendation with a list of attachments. The date of filing is the day of dispatch. This method is the most optimal and allows you to avoid nagging from office workers. They often receive unspoken instructions and exceed their authority, unreasonably refusing to accept documents.

Find out in more detail where to apply for a reduction in the amount of alimony by reading the article prepared by our editors.

In addition, another person can send a claim by mail without having a power of attorney. If you apply through the office, you will have to issue a power of attorney.

Documents are submitted according to the number of participants in the court . For this category of cases – 2 copies. When filing through the court office, it is necessary to ensure that on the third copy the responsible person puts a mark indicating acceptance of the claim with a date and signature. It is recommended to check the days and hours for receiving applications in advance.

Case resolution practice

Let's look at two examples below, each of which clearly demonstrates the approach of judges to cases of reducing child support. In the first case, the payer went to court, arguing the claims as follows:

  1. Health has deteriorated.
  2. As a result, his treatment costs increased.
  3. There were expenses to pay the mortgage.
  4. The dependent mother is a pensioner.

The court rejected his claims in full. The decision was explained as follows:

  1. The deterioration of health did not negatively affect the payer’s earnings; he continues to hold a leadership position at the enterprise;
  2. The costs of treatment are not confirmed by anything.
  3. The issued loan confirms the plaintiff’s high income and is not a basis for reducing alimony.
  4. The applicant's mother receives a pension with which she can support herself.

For a comprehensive clarification of the issue related to judicial practice on reducing the amount of alimony, it is necessary to move on to the next article.

Another example is in which the plaintiff is an entrepreneur and holds a leadership position in one of the organizations. He justified his demands as follows:

  1. At the time of their appointment, the applicant was the founder of three operating businesses and the director of another organization, and also received income from the rental of a personal car.
  2. Since then, he has had a second family, another child, and a dependent in the form of a retired mother.
  3. All three enterprises in which he is a founder do not generate income, and there is a question of their liquidation.
  4. The organization headed by the plaintiff has two employees left, and wage arrears have increased.
  5. The applicant's salary was reduced by 4 times.
  6. The car is not in working condition, there is no income from renting the vehicle.

To confirm the circumstances, extracts from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities for each enterprise, documentary evidence of existing debt, a certificate of the applicant’s salary, as well as a report on the condition of the car were presented. Having considered the case, the court satisfied the claims, reducing the amount of alimony by a third.

Justification for an objection to alimony reduction

To win in court, you must refute your opponent's arguments and provide evidence that his judgment is wrong. The most common reasons for reducing payments are:

Arguments for reducing alimonyWhat to include in an objection
Disability, illness of the payer
The plaintiff indicates the disability group, complains about the inability to work and maintain the previous level of solvency, provides a list of costs incurred in connection with the diseaseIt is necessary to find out what disability group is assigned to the payer. If the 3rd is a working group, then there are no grounds for reducing alimony. Also indicate that the costs of treatment have an insignificant impact on the financial situation of the plaintiff
Changes in marital status, appearance of other children and child support obligations
The payer argues for the need to reduce deductions by the fact that, according to Art. 81 of the RF IC, the amount of alimony for 1 child is ¼ of income, for 2 - 1/3, and for 3 or more - ½ of income. However, new obligations increase the amount of deductions, which is contrary to the law. More often they ask to reduce alimony from ¼ to 1/6 of income, but often such claims are fictitious and have no real basis. The defendant must file a petition to request evidence and obtain certificates confirming the amount of the defendant’s income and the availability of funds in the bank; find evidence of cohabitation with a wife and child for whom alimony is allegedly being withheld.
In your objection write:
· The plaintiff’s income has not changed (increased), and the birth of another child is not a reason to infringe on the rights of children from his first marriage.
· The ex-husband lives with his wife, who has collected alimony for their common children, runs a household with her and tries to artificially lower her income. He does not pay child support to his second child; his wife did not apply to the FSSP
Decrease in income due to job change, demotion, dismissal
The plaintiff can significantly understate real income by agreeing with the employer to receive the bulk of the salary in an “envelope.” In this case, the payer may even be fired and work unofficially The defendant needs to check whether the payer’s financial situation has really worsened. Based on the results of the audit, you can indicate in your objection:
· Despite the decrease in official income, during the current quarter (month) the plaintiff purchased a car, a summer house, furniture or other property, for which there is documentary evidence (provide bank statements received upon petition to the court).
· The required amount of alimony will not cover the needs of the child, since the amount is below the subsistence level
Employment of a minor
The plaintiff provides evidence of the child’s income and argues for the need to reduce child support.The defendant should counter that the child receives an unstable income, does not work regularly, but only during the holidays, and the amount of funds received is several times lower than the subsistence level
Having debts on loans to other dependents
The alimony provider can provide an estimate of the amount that remains for personal needs after paying debts, proving that he does not have enough to live onLoan debt is not a reason to worsen a child’s financial situation. It should be noted that the plaintiff’s obligations should not affect the amount of alimony. Payments for the child are among the first to be withheld, and the lack of money arose due to the fault of the plaintiff and his irrational approach when managing his own funds

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If the objection is supported by evidence of an unjustified reduction in alimony, the payer’s claim will be rejected.

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