Personal Injury Lawyer
When job loss occurs, your child support order will not just go away immediately. You will still owe the unpaid amount, but the court can modify your future child support payments so that they are reduced to help fit your current financial situation. You may be eligible to secure a child support modification if you are unable to pay your current child support amount because of job loss. Modifications depend on if the job loss is permanent or temporary, and an agreement can be reached between both parents but must be signed off on by a judge. If you cannot come to an agreeable modification with your child’s other parent, you should request a hearing in court so that you both can make an argument about your wishes for a modification in front of a judge and get a fair ruling. In order to guarantee a child support modification, however, you will need to prove to the court that you are experiencing a substantial change in your circumstances. If you have a decrease in income and did not suffer job loss, this also applies.
Child support can be collected from unemployment payments, disability, severance pay, worker’s compensation benefits, and social security benefits, so your job loss may not be sufficient enough for a modification if it is not that impactful. Child support is calculated based on the highest income parent (which is typically around 15 percent for one child, 26 percent for two, 30 percent for three, and so on). It is crucial that you pay your past child support payments because if you do not, the court may not want to modify your payments because you have not proven you are capable of paying. However, if you find new employment while your support is in the process of being reviewed or modified, you can always withdraw your motion. If you do not withdraw your motion quickly enough, you could accumulate significant charges and extra support payments, and even be found in contempt of the court for your failure to update them on your new employment.
Contact an Attorney
If you have suddenly lost your job or have incurred a serious and significant decrease in your earnings, you should speak to a family law attorney, like a child custody attorney, if you have any questions. They can help explain any laws specific to your state in which you live, help you through the modification process, and help you withdraw your motion should you find employment.