Child support is a way for both parents to contribute financially to a child's well-being, even after a separation or a divorce. If you're paying child support, the amount you pay was likely determined by a court when you separated. Many factors influence how much child support you pay, including your take-home salary.
What happens if that changes?
If you lose your job or take a significant pay cut, do you still have to pay the total amount for child support?
Paying Child Support When Circumstances Change
The short answer is simple: If you have lost your job, you are not exempt from paying child support.
However, you may have options that can make your life easier during a difficult time (especially if your unemployment came as a surprise).
Talk to a family law attorney if you realize you can't make child support payments because of a change in income. Then, let your co-parent know that you've lost your job.
Then, you and your attorney can tackle the following:
- First, you'll see if you're eligible for unemployment benefits in your state. According to North Carolina Child Support Services, you're still required to pay child support if you're unemployed. These benefits can help.
- Your attorney can then determine whether you can petition to modify your divorce or child support order due to your change in circumstances.
- You'll attend an order modification hearing in court if you are eligible. You may receive new child support guidelines at the end of this hearing. The court may also grant you a temporary suspension of child support until you receive a paycheck again.
Struggling to pay child support is incredibly stressful, and it's certainly not something you should try to navigate solo. Instead, ensure that you have an experienced family law attorney working tirelessly to protect you and your family during this difficult time.
Get in Touch with a North Carolina Family Law Attorney
When you're figuring out how to make the best possible moves during a stressful financial time, you may need assistance figuring out how to pay child support. The attorneys at Jerkins Family Law are ready to answer your questions! Call our offices today at 919-719-2785, or contact us online.
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