Child support payments are largely based on income. For this reason, when the parent paying the support loses their income, it will likely have a huge impact on the agreement. Although the loss of a job is often beyond your control, just how this loss affects your child support agreement is largely based on your actions. Make sure you know what to do.
Changes Are Not Automatic
It is not the responsibility of the child support agency to monitor your income. Any time there is a change in your income, it is your duty to notify the child support office. For this reason, if you lose your job and you do not notify the support agency, they will still expect your payments to continue as normal.
You must make contact with the agency as soon as you lose your job to notify them of your new status so that you can immediately begin the process to modify your payments as necessary.
Modification Is an Option
You can file to have your child support modified in this type of scenario. If you lost your job but you are performing temporary work at a lower pay rate, you might be able to have your original order amount reduced, at least temporarily. If you are not working but you are able to receive unemployment benefits, you can have the order modified to reflect these payments.
However, if you lose your job and you are unable to earn any income, an attorney can help you work to get your payments suspended until you are able to find a job.
All Job Loss Is Not the Same
Every situation that involves a termination of employment is not treated the same. The court will examine the reason behind the loss of income. For the most part, when the parent paying support quits their job without any valid or provable reason why, the court will not grant any reprieve for the loss of income.
The same is true if a person quits a higher-paying job for a lower-paying job without any reason to prove the change was necessary. These scenarios can be perceived as a deliberate effort to lower your support payments. If you've experienced these scenarios and your actions were not an attempt to lower your payments, you will need an attorney to help you argue otherwise.
Every person's situation is different. It's best to speak with a family attorney for assistance.