How to Stop Paying Back Child Support

Although it is rare for courts to eliminate obligations to pay back child support, there may be certain circumstances in which you may have your payments removed, reduced, or postponed. For example, if you do not believe you are the father of the child, or if you have an outstanding financial issue that prevents you from paying, your family court judge may make exceptions to your obligation.

Get a paternity test. If you do not believe that you are the biological father of the child to whom you owe back child support, go to your local child support enforcement office and request a paternity test. If the paternity test results confirm that you are not the father, request a hearing and ask the judge to nullify your obligation to back child support payments.

Get evidence of your inability to pay. If you cannot fulfill your child support obligations due to a long-term medical condition, job loss, or other severe financial hardship, get written evidence describing your situation and present it to the family court judge. Although you may not be able to have your entire child support obligations erased, the judge may be able to come up with a payment arrangement that will not cause you undue hardship.

Talk to a lawyer and challenge the decision. If you believe that the court has erred in requesting back child support payments, seek the assistance of a lawyer. Keep in mind that it is not common for courts to reverse orders for child support unless there were errors in the facts presented at the initial hearing.


  • If you are able to make your back child support payments and are the legal parent of the child, you are legally obligated to make timely payments as ordered by the court. Failure to do so many result in garnished wages or jail time.


About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.