I Lost My Job. Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support?
Your legal responsibility to support your minor-aged child financially remains in effect, even if you are laid off or lose your job. If you are not your child’s primary custodial parent, you likely have regular child support payments due to your ex. If you become unable to meet your monthly obligation, you should notify your ex, as unexplained delinquency could prompt him or her to take legal action that results in you being held in contempt of court or even forced to serve jail time. Furthermore, you should consult your Long Island lawyer and investigate your options for the following:
- Unemployment benefits — If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, the amount you owe in child support can be taken from those payments.
- Talk to the family court — If you are ineligible for unemployment benefits, you may be able to work out an arrangement in which your payments are temporarily reduced or put on hold until you find a new job. Once your employment resumes, your monthly obligation may increase in order to cover the period of missed or incomplete payments.
- New employment — Consider taking a temporary or part-time job to help you meet your child support obligations until you find another full-time position.
- Modification — In New York, support payment obligations are calculated using a formula. If your or your ex’s financial circumstances change significantly, you may be eligible for a child support modification, in which the courts recalculate the amounts both you and your ex owe and issue a new order. You must formally request a modification in order to initiate the recalculation process.