What Happens to Child Support When a Parent is Unemployed?

The economy has been a sustained downturn, and even though it has made small gains, it’s often been called a “jobless recovery.” So it’s not uncommon for a parent who has a child support obligation to feel the pinch after losing a job or having their hours cut back.

So what can a parent who is owed child support do when their ex is out of work? And what options are available to the parent that has lost their job but still has responsibility for a child?

First, it’s important to note that even when someone loses a job, that person is still responsible for paying child support. If you owe support and have lost your job, check with your local unemployment office to see if you are eligible to draw unemployment employment benefits. If you are, you can tell the unemployment agency that you owe support and it will be deducted from your wages.

An About.com article: Unemployment and Child Support  written by Debrina Washington, also outlines steps to take when a parent isn’t eligible for unemployment. She also offers advice for taking care of other obligations including insuring your child during a period of unemployment.

Depending on circumstances, support orders can be modified in court, she reminds parents. Once the parent gets a new job, orders can be modified again. “Unemployment is very difficult for both custodial and non-custodial parents to handle. However, the need to support a child does not terminate when a parent is unemployed. A child support order will only be altered if a parent seeks a modification. Parents should seek the assistance of a qualified attorney in your state who can help file for a modification,” she writes.

Contact us and we can help you determine your options if you are owed child support or are responsible for child support payments.