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What happens if you lose your job while paying child support?

| May 11, 2021 | Child Custody & Support |

Child support often costs hundreds of dollars a month and can consume a substantial amount of your take-home pay. Working parents can sometimes struggle to adjust to the expenses of supporting their households while also paying child support.

For those who lose their jobs, child support can quickly become an unpayable expense. A Connecticut family law judge ordered you to pay support as part of a divorce. What happens if you can’t make payments anymore because you lost your job?

Your ex or the state might initiate enforcement efforts

When you stop sending money, your ex might try to take action. They could request enforcement efforts that might include intercepting your tax return, denying you license renewals or issuing a bench warrant for your arrest.

Even if your ex doesn’t try to come after you, the state could initiate enforcement efforts on its own. When a parent paying child support goes into arrears, the state could take action even without the request of the custodial parent, especially in situations where the state has to shoulder the burden of unpaid support through state benefits, e.g., food stamps and other meal assistance.

 A modification can help you avoid aggressive enforcement

No matter how recently you finalized your divorce, you may have the option of asking for a modification hearing. In these proceedings, the petitioner advises the court that there has been a material change to the circumstances and that the support order requires review and changes.

A drastic reduction in income, for example, will reduce how much the courts expect you to pay. It’s important to note that even total unemployment will not result in the cancellation of your child support obligations. However, the courts will likely lower the amount you must pay, which will make it easier for you to catch up when you start earning money again soon.