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What Happens to Child Support if You Lose Your Job?

A recent study explored the effects of unemployment on child support. Child support is payments made to a non-custodial parent by a custodial parent. In certain situations, child support may be a requirement. However, due to difficult economic times, many parents who want to provide for their children despite being unemployed have to face job loss and its potential effects on child support. Let’s take a minute to think about this situation and help you figure out how you should approach the question of child support if you lose your job.

Does losing my work affect my obligation to pay child support?

When your income source disappears, your child support obligation does not immediately vanish. If you don’t make your payments, arrears will keep mounting up until the court modifies the order. In order to request an adjustment of the judgment, you must appear in court as quickly as possible with a petition outlining the changes in your situation. In this regard, you can consult with your  divorce attorneys in McKinney so that they can make things clear and hassle free for you.

Where should I appear in court?

You should travel to the Family Court in the area where the judgment was issued if the maintenance order was filed in Family Court. If the order was granted in New York City while your children were getting state assistance, the matter was most likely heard in the Manhattan Family Court’s Child Support Enforcement term (CSET). You can still apply to Family Court to have the order changed if it was a component of a Supreme Court divorce ruling. The county where the child lives or the county where you live is where you can file.

Do I still have to make back payments?

Despite the fact that a revision in the order may take effect retroactively (to the day your petition was filed), any arrears that existed prior to your petition’s filing remain irrevocable. Only if the individual to whom you provide maintenance accepts to forgo it can pass owing support be discharged. The arrears will not be forgiven if the money is paid to the government on behalf of kids who receive public assistance.

Can I entirely suspend the order of support?

According to the legislation, all non-custodial parents are required to provide a minimal sum of child support, ranging from $25 to $50 per month, based on the situation. However, the higher courts have decided that there shouldn’t be an order of support if you can show that even that is excessive. The court is quite difficult to persuade to do that.

What if I start getting worker’s compensation or income support?

Both unemployment insurance and workers’ remunerations may be reduced by an order of assistance. The size of the order should still be adjusted in court if those installments are less than what you were making at the time the order was made, even if they are less.

What if I begin receiving government aid?

Your government aid check cannot be used to pay child support since it is not considered income for child support calculations. However, until you submit a petition to amend the order, the court won’t be aware that you are receiving public assistance.


So if you lose your job, you shouldn’t let child support payments be the casualty. If you suddenly find yourself without a source of income, don’t wait until the money stops coming in to start planning—the consequences can be dire. Hopefully, these tips will help you get some of that money back so that you can start pursuing other options and keep paying for your child’s needs.

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