If you lost your job and have child support to pay, seek legal help right away. Your attorney will help you notify your co-parent, the office of child support, and the court about your unemployment status.
The pandemic-induced recession has resulted in unprecedented job losses. According to a recent report, overall, it’s estimated that the economy lost roughly 9.4 million jobs in 2020. Although the job market has improved since then, the number of people out of work is still high.
Being out of work can profoundly affect your ability to support yourself and even your families. This brings us to today’s question: Do you have to pay child support if you lose your job?
Do You Still Have to Pay?
Whether you’ve been laid off, furloughed, or fired, losing your job generally does not exempt you from paying child support. That’s right; unless otherwise stated by the court, you have to continue making your monthly child support payments as per the child support order or agreement. If you skip payments, you may be found in contempt, which could mean hefty penalties or even jail time.
That being said, you may be able to file a motion with the court requesting for modification of the child support agreement. The sooner you file your modification petition, the better so you do not get in trouble or fall behind in your payments.
However, it’s worth noting that you may be ineligible for modification if:
- You were laid off for illegal activities or gross negligence
- You quit your job to avoid child support responsibilities
What Should You Do After Losing Your Job and Have Child Support to Pay?
Here is what you should do to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law when you are unemployed and obligated to make child support payments:
- Make some payments even if the amount is small.
- Send as many job applications as possible and document your job hunting journey. This will help prove you are doing something to get back on your feet.
- Notify your co-parent and the office of child support right away.
- Apply for unemployment support. Child support could be deducted from your unemployment benefits if you qualify.
Seek Legal Help
If you lost your job and have child support to pay, seek legal help right away. Your attorney will help you notify your co-parent, the office of child support, and the court about your unemployment status. They’ll also help you show what you’re doing to get on top of the situation.
If you’re considering child support modification, your attorney will help you collect solid evidence and build a convincing case. They’ll also help you accelerate the modification petition to avoid falling behind in your payments.
Contact The Betz Law Firm
Are you looking for an experienced child support attorney in St. Louis, Missouri? Look no further; The Betz Law Firm is here for you. We have experienced attorneys who’ll do everything in their power to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Contact us today for compassionate and devoted legal services.
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