Losing your job can be a very stressful time. It can cause stress in your family as you worry about whether you will be able to find a new job before your savings run out. However, for parents dealing with a custody dispute, the loss of a job can be even more stressful as a parent worries about how the loss of a regular income will affect child custody and child support.
The good news is that the loss of your job should not have an immediate or dramatic effect on your child custody arrangement. Child custody and child support are two separate but connected issues. In most cases, the courts favor a child custody arrangement that allows the child to spend quality time with both parents, regardless of the income level of each parent.
For example, if you are the non-custodial parent and you have physical custody of your child every other weekend, the custody plan should stay the same even after you lose your job. If you have a good relationship with the other parent, you may even be able to spend more time with your child if all parties agree to adjust the plan based on the change in circumstances.
However, if losing your job results in severe poverty, then this could have an impact on child custody. You are generally required to provide a safe environment when you are taking care of your kids. If losing your job means that you do not have a place to live, then you have to change your child custody plans.
Child support is based on providing for the child's financial needs. Loss of your job will likely have a major impact on your child support obligations. However, if you lose your job and cannot make the court-ordered child support payments, you need to contact the court immediately.
Your child support payments will not automatically be reduced if you lose your job. In order to change or adjust the child support order, the court will have to review and assess the child support order. Any child support payments that are not made after you lose your job but before the child support order is changed are still owed. You can only get a court order to reduce your future child support payments.
Child support payments are based on the custodial arrangement, monthly gross income of each parent, number of children, and other factors. A significant change in your monthly gross income (such as because of losing your job) could greatly reduce your child support payments. Similarly, after you get a new job and your income increases, your child support payments may increase again.
Jerkins Family Law
If you have questions about making changes to your child custody plan or reducing your child support payments, please do not hesitate to call Jerkins Family Law for assistance. We are committed to providing passionate representation for you and your family. We can help make sure your family and assets are protected in the event of a divorce or separation. Visit our dedicated child custody page and contact us today so we can guide you to a better solution.