Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support If I Become Unemployed?
Today’s topic deals with a question that I was asked by one of my prospective clients in a phone consultation. And his question is, “Do I still have to pay child support if I become unemployed?” The answer to that is, that although losing your job will have an effect on the child support payment amount, it does not mean that you are no longer responsible to continue making the payments.
It’s important to know that the current child support order and your responsibilities under that order will still be in effect even if you lose your job. Therefore, if you stop making your child support payments, you will accrue arrearages, which will quickly add up due to added interests. You can be found in contempt, and you may be fined or even be arrested.
The first thing that you should do after becoming unemployed is file a motion with the court to modify the current child support order to reflect your new change in income.
The second thing I would suggest you do is check to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits, and if so, have the child support money deducted from the unemployment benefits. This may help you to continue to meet your responsibilities until you find a job.
One thing to consider is that if you become unemployed or underemployed voluntarily in an attempt to avoid having to make child support payments, please know that the court may impute wages to you, meaning that the court will decide the amount of income that you should or would be making if you were working.
Child support is a legal obligation based on the child’s best interest, and the courts do not take kindly to a parent’s failure to meet their responsibilities to support their children. So if you are in the unfortunate situation of becoming unemployed, please make every attempt to follow these steps.
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