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The impact of job loss or change on child support payments

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Child Support |

Changes in employment can impact all facets of life, including child support. If you’ve become unemployed or recently switched jobs, it’s important to understand your legal obligations and how to adjust payments.

Do you still have to pay child support?

Losing your job or taking a new position does not absolve you of your financial obligations to your child(ren). Courts expect parents to act in the best interest of the child, and this principle guides all support-related decisions.

If you have a change in employment, you must request a modification of the child support order through the court system. Usually, you have to prove that the employment change is significant and involuntary. Courts require detailed documentation such as termination letters and new employment contracts.

During the modification process, the court will reassess your financial situation and may adjust support payments. You must continue making payments until you receive a new court order.

Specific considerations in California

California follows a similar process for child support payments but with some state-specific nuances. The state’s child support guidelines consider both parents’ income, the amount of time each parent spends with their child, and certain expenses like healthcare and education.

California courts use a standard formula to calculate child support, but they also have the discretion to consider the circumstances of each case. When reviewing a modification request, the court evaluates your current financial situation, including unemployment benefits and new income streams.

While the details around child support and job change are complex, it’s important for you to understand them to stay on the right side of the law.


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