What to Do About Child Support After Being Fired

February 15, 2019

The economy has come a long way since the market collapse and Great Recession of 2008, but times can still be tough out there for people in the job market. A combination of stagnant wages and lack of openings providing decent pay can make it difficult to avoid even some of the bare necessities people require.

If you suddenly find yourself out of a job, you will of course have many matters you’ll need to deal with beyond just attempting to find a new one, including figuring out how you’ll continue to pay for your everyday expenses and living situation. But if you pay child support, you must also navigate that issue, because your child support liability technically does not end even if you suddenly become unemployed through no fault of your own.

So how do you handle this issue if you’ve recently been fired or laid off? The good news is that there are some circumstances in which you can at least temporarily modify your child support arrangement, though you must go through the proper court processes to do so. Here’s some information about this process from a child support attorney in Miami, FL.

Seeking a modification

You cannot just stop paying your child support if you lose your job—you are still legally responsible for making those payments, and there will be some severe consequences if you decide to shirk those responsibilities. If you wish to have your child support arrangement modified, you must file a petition in the court that oversees your child support arrangement.

To be successful in this petition, you must demonstrate to a judge that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that makes it no longer possible for you to keep up with your payments as you’ve been required to do in the past. Some examples of these types of “substantial changes in circumstances” include a loss of job or other significant loss of income, the other parent having a substantial increase in their own income, a major medical emergency or health event that takes away a lot of your money, the children moving in with you or various other issues that affect your income and overall situation.

When you submit the paperwork for your petition, make sure to include notes for the judge overseeing your case that prove your change in financial circumstances, including unemployment benefit information or pay stubs. Tell the judge about the changes you would like to make (being as specific as you can be) and how this change will still align with the “best interests of the child” standard. You’ll deliver copies of this petition to the clerk of the circuit court and to the other parent. You will also need to file a Family Law Financial Affidavit along with this petition. The form is available at www.flcourts.org.

For more information about how you should handle your child support arrangement if you’ve recently lost your job, contact the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler today to arrange a consultation with an experienced child support lawyer in Miami, FL.

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