How to stop or lower your Iowa child support when your child graduates from high school or turns 18
One of the most common inquiries we receive is about what steps must be taken to lower or terminate your Iowa child support when your child graduates from high school or turns eighteen. While common sense would suggest that one's Iowa child support obligation would automatically stop upon their child "aging out", this is not necessarily the case.
If your Iowa divorce decree was drafted by an experienced family law attorney, it will include language that indicates that your obligation "steps down" to a specific amount upon your children aging out. These step down provisions alleviate the need to file a costly modification action to get your child support obligation reduced upon your child aging out. However, you still need to take action to protect your interests. Although you won't need to file a modification of your child support obligation, you still need to have a new income withholding order entered by the court, so your employer starts taking out the new amount. You may complete this on your own or you may also contact an Iowa divorce attorney to take care of this for you. Upon the entry of the income withholding order, copies will be forwarded to the Iowa child support recovery unit, as well as your employer. At that point, your new obligation should be withheld from your paycheck.
If your Iowa divorce decree does not contain "step-down" language your safest course of action is to file for a modification of child support prior to your child aging out. Prior to doing this however, you should consult an experience Iowa family law attorney to have them calculate what your new child support obligation will be. Due to ever changing financial conditions of parents, it is quite possible that your child support obligation will not change when a child ages out. We often see this in situations where the child support obligor has experience
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