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If you get fired, can you stop paying child support?

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

Child support is determined using a variety of factors, including your income. The court will weigh your average earnings when deciding what percentage of those earnings has to be paid as child support. 

However, it’s very possible for that income to change. For instance, maybe you recently got fired. The company was struggling and your boss decided they had to let you go because they couldn’t afford to pay you. Now you have no income and so you, in turn, cannot afford your child support payments. Can you stop paying them?

Modifying the court order

Income changes are a serious and realistic challenge that co-parents may face. It is possible to reduce your child support payments, in some cases. If you’ve been fired or seen a major reduction in income, then you may be able to reduce or eliminate those payments.

However, to do this, you need to go to court and have the court order modified. Until this has been done, it still stands. You could be held in contempt of court if you violate it.

In other words, do not just stop making the monthly payments on your own. Don’t assume that losing your job is justification enough and that you are free from the obligation. It still exists, and you need to try to make at least partial payments until you have the court order modified to lower those totals. You need to take the right legal steps, rather than addressing it on your own.

Your legal options

As you can see, it’s very important to take these legal steps in the correct order. That’s why it’s crucial for you to know what options you have and how to proceed.