Jesse Williams Asks for $40K Child Support Payments to Be Reduced Since He's No Longer on 'Grey's Anatomy'

In new court docs obtained by ET, Williams said that he makes 'far less' now than he did when he was starring on the hit ABC series.

Jesse Williams is asking for the $40,000 monthly child support payments he's been paying his ex-wife, Aryn Drake-Lee, to be reduced. In new court docs obtained by ET, Williams is firing back at his ex's motion to deny his modification of support, citing that he now makes "far less" than he did when he was on Grey's Anatomy.

"I am requesting the Court reduce the child support to a reasonable amount I can afford given the significant reduction in my income and the now fluctuating nature of my income," Williams, who has been starring in the Broadway play Take Me Out, said in his declaration to the court.

Williams is only making $1,668 per week for his work on Broadway -- a far cry from the $6.2 million he made for his work on Grey’s Anatomy, not to mention the $183,000 in residuals he also took home.

The show, Williams said, was the primary source of income for his family throughout his marriage and for him, post-separation.

"I appeared on the television show Grey’s Anatomy ("Grey’s"), which was the primary source of income for our family throughout the marriage and for me, post-separation. I am no longer on Grey’s. My last appearance was in May 2021," he stated before explaining that explaining that the $40,000 figure was determined when he was still on the hit ABC drama.

"The child support of $40,000 per month ($480,000 per year) which commenced October 1, 2019, was based almost entirely on my Grey’s episodic fees which was my then primary source of income," Williams went on to explain. "I had previously been paying child support to Aryn in the combined sum of $50,629 per month pursuant to the Court’s order for temporary child support on June 19, 2018 (and $50,695 per month in tax deductible spousal support)."

Williams noted that the $40,000 child support payment was also determined by his other sources of income, which included residuals from the long-running TV series.

"Child support was also based on my other sources of income which included my Grey’s residuals for shows I appeared in during the marriage, and after Aryn and I separated, as well as sporadic income from occasional smaller acting, endorsement or appearance work," the 40-year-old actor shared. "All of my additional sources of income were/are far less than my former episodic fees from Grey’s."

Williams went on to declare that their children, Sadie, 8 and Maceo, 6's lifestyle did not and does not reflect he $40,000 a month he's been paying Drake-Lee.

"Our children’s lifestyle was/is in no way reflective of the $40,000 per month child support. Our children have a modest lifestyle. They do not have expensive hobbies or attend expensive camps," he said. "They do not fly by private jet when we take vacations (which are already infrequent), and we do not have any vacation homes. I agreed to the child support solely due to my then significant Grey’s income."

He also explained his reason for leaving the show, something Drake-Lee said in her motion to deny Williams' modification of support he chose to do, alleging that it was a decision he made to put his needs ahead of his children's.

"I received my last episodic fee payment from Grey’s in July 2021. I left the show primarily for two reasons – to grow and shape my career before the looming end of the show, with heightened talk of Grey’s ending after the 2021-22 season," Williams revealed. "My Grey’s character and career marked over 95% of my acting reputation and it was imperative to expand my body of work before it became too late."

The former couple, who finalized their divorce in October of 2020, recently settled their child custody dispute. According to the court docs, Williams, whose request to modify his custodial schedule was granted by a Los Angeles Super Court judge, and Drake-Lee, will continue to share custody of their two children but Williams will have "tie-breaking authority" when it comes to issues like "COVID-19" protocols for their kids.

Per the judge's ruling, Williams will now have four consecutive days per month with his children in New York, with two of those days being weekends. 

This custody agreement came after Drake-Lee's initial request to reduce Williams' custodial time was denied. The judge did, however, approve her request to set a strict cancellation policy when it comes to spending time with their kids.

According to the docs, if Williams "cancels some parenting time, he cannot later 'uncancel'" unless there is a mutual agreement in writing.

The two parents must also "meet and confer" in regard to planning extracurricular activities for their children, and if an agreement cannot be reached, that's when "tie-breaking authority" will go to Drake-Lee to make the final decision.

The judge also encouraged both Williams and Drake-Lee to seek the help of a "third-party coordinator or counselor" to help them fine-tune their custody and visitation orders.

Williams filed for divorce from Drake-Lee in April 2017 after five years of marriage. Drake-Lee originally requested sole physical custody of Sadie and Maceo, but the pair was granted joint physical custody in March 2018.