I Was Laid Off and Now I Cannot Afford My Child Support
In today’s unpredictable economic landscape, your employment situation may extremely tenuous. What is worse, many of the factors that could potentially impact your job are probably well beyond your control. You may be the hardest-working, most productive member of the staff, but market conditions or decisions by your employer could still leave you suddenly looking for work. If you are responsible for paying child support, losing your job can make meeting your obligations very difficult, so it is important to understand what to do should such an eventuality occur.
While many layoffs are fairly sudden, your employer may have been able to provide some advance notice. As soon as you know, begin your search for new employment. The process, of course, takes time and, while you may not have the availability to interview immediately, exploring your options quickly can help you find something much sooner.
You should also begin taking steps to save money. This may seem rather obvious, but it is extremely important. Unemployment benefits, financial hardship deferments of loans, and other steps can help you create an emergency fund of sorts. Not only will you need resources on which to live, you will need to be able to remain current on child support payments to the best of your ability. Your efforts in continuing to meet your obligations will likely be very helpful in the next recommended course of action.
Contact an Attorney and Petition for Modification
If you are able to quickly find a new job that pays similarly, you may be able to avoid this process. However, if you find yourself suddenly dependent on unemployment benefits or completely without income, the court needs to be aware of your situational change as soon as possible. A qualified family lawyer can help you pursue a modification of your child support order after you have been laid off while you continue to look for employment opportunities.
While child support orders are based primarily on the paying parent’s income, the court will also consider a number of other factors in determining if a modification is appropriate. For example, if there are plenty of jobs available in your line of work and you are simply refusing to take one, the court may be less likely to reduce your obligations. Conversely, if you and your attorney can demonstrate to the court your good faith efforts at finding a new job and trying to stay current on support payments, chances are good that the court will recognize your need for a reduction.
As with most child-related legal concerns, every case is completely different, and the outcome of yours is dependent upon your particular circumstances. Fortunately, Attorney Doug Warlick understands the complexities of the legal system, and as an experienced Kane County family law attorney, he is equipped to help you provide appropriately for your children. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and put our hardworking team to work for your family.