Can A Job Loss Impact Child Support?
Anytime a person experiences a drastic shift in their income, it is common for that individual to need to look over their budget and make some changes. So, if you lose your job, it makes sense that you will not be able to afford everything you were paying for when you were employed. Living on unemployment benefits or accepting a job with a lower pay could lead to you now feeling like your child support obligations are far higher than what you can actually afford.
While having your monthly payment amount adjusted after an income change is possible, you need to follow the proper channels under Florida law. Halting your payments or suddenly sending a smaller amount is not allowed, you must continue to make the full court-mandated payments until your modification request is approved and implemented. A Tampa family lawyer can represent you through the process and file the appropriate paperwork on your behalf.
Payments Could Be One of Several Items to Address
Sometimes job loss results in more than income loss. For example, if you are required to make child support payments and provide health insurance for your children, you may find losing your job means you can’t afford the payments and you no longer have employee health benefits to provide coverage for the children.
Talking through the issues as soon as possible means solutions can be reached. For instance, one of the following health insurance options could work for the kids, depending on the situation.
- Paying for coverage through COBRA, a plan that allows you to purchase the employer plan you had without the employer’s contribution.
- Finding out if your ex-spouse has a benefit option through their employer and moving the kids to their health plan.
- Securing a job that may not be your dream job but provides you with the benefits you need and some income until you are able to secure a position in line with your career goals.
If you are hoping the kids can be added to your ex-spouse’s benefit plan but the two of you are not able to communicate effectively, having the terms of the modification negotiated between attorneys is often advisable.
Court Will Review Resources
Child support payments are directly related to the resources of each parent. Even if you and your ex-spouse land on the terms of a modification, a Florida court will review all of the data to be sure it is in the best interests of the children before approving the change.
Who should I connect with if I can no longer afford child support payments? Life changes, such as job loss, could result in you needing to pursue a child support modification. Do not stop making payments. Instead, stay up to date with your financial responsibilities as you look into long-term solutions. There is legal support available, the legal team at Blair H. Chan, III will compassionately listen to your financial situation and inform you of your modification options. When finances are tight, you should get the modification process started as soon as possible. Call 813-280-5301 to schedule a consultation.