If the person paying alimony and child support accepts another job that pays a lesser salary and is closer to his children, can alimony and/or child support payments be reduced?

In the state of Maryland

Asked on April 22, 2016 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Possibly, but there is a good chance they will not be. A court will reduce support obligations if a person cannot pay them due to a loss of job or demotion, or switching from a higher to a lower-paying job, where there is no reasonable prospect of the person starting to make more money again any time soon, but generally, courts only do this for *involuntary* job losses/changes...i.e. things that happen against the person's will, such as being fired then only finding a lesser job. The courts generally will not adjust support obligations if a person voluntarily starts earning less money, because they do not want ex-spouses or parents to be able to freely or willingly reduce what they pay and hurt the people they are supporting. If this change is better for the children in other ways, such as more access to and time with a parent, family court might decide that on the balance, it was an equitable and reasonable thing to do and allow a reducution; however, it would be unusual to allow a reduction for a voluntary losse of income, so it should not be counted on.


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