How Do I Have Child Support Modified if I Haven’t Even Been Allowed to See the Kids in 20 Years?

“My divorce was signed in 1997. I am a disabled physician. The onset of the disability was 1/97 -and was a psych problem. Because of this, I signed a divorce giving my children 50% of my disability check until they were age 26. 1 child is 25 now, the other is 14. I have NOT seen them since 1995 and still pay 50% of my disability check ($4500/month) to them. I can think much more clearly now, and this doesn’t seem fair. I wanted to see the children, but they suffered from a severe Parental Alienation Syndrome (which started 20 years ago and was the reason I wanted the divorce).

Please advise as to a step I can take to decrease this payment, especially being that these children do not want to see me. I can’t even tell them that I’m physically sick now and doubt that I’ll live more than 2 years.”

In order to have your child support modified, you’ll need to file an appropriate motion with the court. In that motion, you’ll have to state the reason for your request for modification. Common examples include: change in financial situation, change in parenting arrangement, or other material changes that would otherwise warrant a downward adjustment. The fact that your children do not want to see you is generally not enough to justify the modification of a support agreement. Furthermore, your 14 year old child is still a minor and child support orders typically do not terminate until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in most states.

That said, your ability to modify the child support may also depend on the exact language of the divorce decree/child support order. Thus, you should meet with a qualified family law attorney in your area who can better help you with this matter. An attorney will be able to review your situation, and advise you about your options.