Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support If I’m Unemployed?

Uncertain Times

Going through a period of unemployment is both stressful and uncertain. Searching for a job while trying to make ends meet can fill someone with anxiety, and making child support payments despite the loss of income can add a new layer of stress. Many unemployed parents wonder if they are still obligated to make these payments despite no job.

Maintaining Obligations

A loss of a job does not automatically excuse you from making child support payments. If there is a court order in place to make these payments, then you must continue to meet your obligation.

Reason for Unemployment

The reason for your unemployment makes a big difference in if you can adjust your child support payments. If you quit your position voluntarily without a job backup and are searching for a new position, that voluntary departure disqualifies you from child support modification. Seeking modification of support payments can only occur if your unemployment is the result of a sudden and involuntary circumstance.

Seeking Modification

If your unemployment is involuntary and causes a sudden change in your income, then you can begin to seek a modification of your child support payments. Notify the court of your unemployment as quickly as possible to begin the process.

Once in court, a judge will determine what modification can be made to your child support payments. A judge considers how you became unemployed, what your earning capacity is (such as education, skills, and how much you could earn based on those factors), and any financial resources, such as social security payments or unemployment benefits.

You should understand, however, that modification of child support payments can take a long time to process due to court schedules and other legal issues. You may not see a modification take place right away, which is why it is important to plan ahead.

Bring Legal Help

No one should have to worry about how to make ends meet when facing unemployment. If you lost your job and are having difficulty maintaining your current child support amount, Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices can help you begin to seek modification.

Call us today at (573) 279-1349 or visit us online to speak with a member of our Missouri legal team about your situation.