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Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Lose my Job?

The short answer is: yes. A child support order remains in effect even if you are unemployed. Losing your job is a very difficult and stressful time for you and your family, but child support payments won’t go away as it is necessary to ensure that a child’s needs are met. The worst thing to do is not pay your child support. It is a harsh and brutal reality, but the court will not simply accept the answer “I lost my job” when asked why you didn’t pay your child support.

Contempt of Court for Child Support

A non-custodial parent must do everything possible to show that they are not willfully ignoring a court order. Although the number one priority is providing for your child, it is also crucial to avoid a contempt hearing. Contempt hearings are brutal and may end up being more expensive in the long run. What is worse: a contempt hearing may lead to potential jail time.

Things you should do if you are unemployed and have court ordered child support:

  • Make a good faith payment every month, something is better than nothing. If you are paying other bills, then child support better be one of them.
  • Apply, apply, apply! Apply for jobs and keep a record of all applications. This will help show that you are actively looking for employment and not ignoring the situation.
  • Let the child support office know about your loss of income.
  • Treat child support like a bill. Wouldn’t you call the credit card company you owe and explain your situation?
  • If possible, seek unemployment compensation. The unemployment office can deduct the ordered support from unemployment wages.
  • Contact an attorney immediately and discuss your options about modifying your current support order.

Child support orders aren’t something to ignore or play with. Remember that child support is for your child.

Child Support Modifications: You Have Options!

Don’t wait for the court to act and keep accruing unpaid support. It is better to be proactive than reactive. Taking court action may be necessary. If your child support amount is too high and you need to discuss your options, see an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. This will allow you to ask questions and better understand your rights as well as your responsibilities. Our Florida child support attorneys at Dadvocacy™ can help you with motions for hearing, modification requests, and reviews of orders. We understand that situations change and sometimes these changes are out of our hands. Let us help you find a solution when it comes to your children.

For further information or to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled and experienced family law lawyers, please contact Dadvocacy™ at (305) 371-7640.