What happens if you lose your job and can’t afford child support?

When you go through the process of divorcing, you’ll know that you have to make many decisions and commitments. When your children live with your ex-spouse, you’ll likely have had to come to an agreement on scheduled child support payments. 

Life can be unpredictable. While you may be able to afford the payments at the time of the divorce, if you lose your job and your only source of income this is no longer feasible. What options do you have?

Filing a motion of modification

When the court made the original determination on how much child support you were required to pay, this would have been set down in a court order. This imposes a legal duty on you to make those payments. 

If you have lost your job and cannot afford to make the agreed child support payments you should file a Motion of Modification as soon as possible. This will allow you to explain what modification you’re asking for and why you need it. Once you have all the forms completed, you’ll need to return them to the Superior Court Clerk’s office. You’ll be given a place, time and date to return for a hearing in front of a judge. You’ll need to complete the Financial Affidavit and bring this with you to court so the judge has a detailed breakdown of your income and expenditure. 

At the hearing itself, the judge will hear from both parties and review the financial documentation that has been presented before making a decision on whether a change is justified. This relies heavily on the evidence you can present of your current financial situation which is why it’s important to prepare as well as possible. Having legal assistance with this process offers you the best chance of success.