An Attorney Who Has Walked In Your Shoes

Can you change your child support payments if you lose your job?

Financial situations can change, often unexpectedly. If you get divorced, the court is going to decide how much you need to pay in child support based on your current circumstances. But there’s always the chance that those circumstances could change in the future, meaning that the order would no longer be appropriate.

For example, maybe you used to have a high-paying job and you were ordered to pay thousands of dollars a month in child support. But then you got laid off, and now you’re just working part-time. You’re making far less than you used to and you can’t afford those child support payments any longer. Can you change them?

You need to get a court order

You can have the child support obligations modified. Courts understand that people’s financial situations and family lives will change over time. Likewise, the child’s own situation could change, necessitating an increase or decrease in support payments.

But the thing to remember is that the court order is binding. You do need to attempt to keep paying as long as it stands. In other words, don’t just stop paying child support the day that you lose your job. You may think that it makes logical sense to make these adjustments, but paying less is still a violation of the court order. You need to explain your new situation to the court and have them issue a new order with lower payments.

This is just one example of how post-divorce life can get legally complicated. If it does, be sure you know exactly what steps to take.