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Family Law 7/04/2024

Lost Your Job? Here's How It Affects Child Support Payments

Understanding Child Support

Supporting our children happens in all walks of life and even during some of the most challenging times, like separation and divorce. We find ways to support our children emotionally, physically, and financially, even if we are not the primary caretaker. Under Tennessee law, both parents are responsible for their minor child’s care. 

Whenever child custody is involved in a family law case, so is child support. In a child support order, the primary residential parent receives child support from the alternate residential parent who pays it. The amount paid is calculated using child support guidelines worksheets and different variables within your family’s dynamic. 

Variables including:

  • Income of the mother
  • Income of the father
  • Number of parenting days
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Child care 
  • Miscellaneous “add-ons” that the child is involved in

It’s important to know that child support covers your child’s needs, and it’s your duty to provide for them financially. Not paying it will impact every part of your life. Considered a violation of a court order, not paying your child support even if you disagree with the amount or need a modification could have you facing civil and criminal consequences. 

Impact of Job Loss on Child Support

The stressful impact of losing your job rocks your world, but your child support payments don’t stop. Work to find new employment and file a motion for modification immediately. If there is a significant variance between the current order and a proposed order for more or less support, then it can be considered. It’s important to remember that the support will be modified prospectively and not retroactively. The court can set the new support order to the date of the petition to change, so it’s important not to delay filing your request. If you wait until the expenses and support are out of control you will have a simple interest of 12% on child support arrearages. Child support plus interest adds up fast, so it's essential to work with a family law practice before the situation gets away from you.

Seeking a Modification of Child Support

The care in which child support is calculated and how vital it is to the child's well-being means that making any modifications is not done lightly, and they’re not easy to do either. The modifications need to be brought on by unexpected and significant changes. Losing your job seriously impacts your ability to make these payments, and although you’ve lost this income, it doesn’t stop your payments. 

Factors Considered for Modification

In this instance, when you are seeking a modification to your child support payments, there are key factors that judges will look for.

  • Temporary fluctuations in pay don’t qualify
  • Unemployment from leaving a job or getting fired won’t be considered
  • Deliberate underemployment could be considered retaliatory 

There is no guarantee that the court will approve your request, but it’s essential to do it as soon as possible. Seeking modification is a severe change in your parenting plan, and it’s important to be reasonable when making a request. 

Benefits of Early Action

Judges will not take your word for it when seeking a review and adjustments to the support, and having an experienced child support attorney will put your best foot forward. An experienced attorney can review the situation, determine if the modifications are reasonable, and even help you make favorable adjustments to improve your chances of getting the modification. Other things  you can do is:

  • Gather all of the documents
  • Consult with an experienced family law attorney
  • Showing measurable financial impact
  • Be reasonable in the amount
  • Sooner rather than later

Fighting for Your Family | Dennis Stanford Law Office

Each case is as unique as the family that we represent. Our experienced legal team will be able to give you a better understanding of your legal rights and the next steps we can take to protect them. 
At Dennis Stanford Law Office, we represent military and civilian families in child support cases throughout the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area. Family law matters can be heartbreaking. If you are facing a family law matter, contact us so our attorneys can provide you with the legal counseling and resources you need during this challenging time for your family.

Understanding Child Support

Supporting our children happens in all walks of life and even during some of the most challenging times, like separation and divorce. We find ways to support our children emotionally, physically, and financially, even if we are not the primary caretaker. Under Tennessee law, both parents are responsible for their minor child’s care. 

Whenever child custody is involved in a family law case, so is child support. In a child support order, the primary residential parent receives child support from the alternate residential parent who pays it. The amount paid is calculated using child support guidelines worksheets and different variables within your family’s dynamic. 

Variables including:

  • Income of the mother
  • Income of the father
  • Number of parenting days
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Child care 
  • Miscellaneous “add-ons” that the child is involved in

It’s important to know that child support covers your child’s needs, and it’s your duty to provide for them financially. Not paying it will impact every part of your life. Considered a violation of a court order, not paying your child support even if you disagree with the amount or need a modification could have you facing civil and criminal consequences. 

Impact of Job Loss on Child Support

The stressful impact of losing your job rocks your world, but your child support payments don’t stop. Work to find new employment and file a motion for modification immediately. If there is a significant variance between the current order and a proposed order for more or less support, then it can be considered. It’s important to remember that the support will be modified prospectively and not retroactively. The court can set the new support order to the date of the petition to change, so it’s important not to delay filing your request. If you wait until the expenses and support are out of control you will have a simple interest of 12% on child support arrearages. Child support plus interest adds up fast, so it's essential to work with a family law practice before the situation gets away from you.

Seeking a Modification of Child Support

The care in which child support is calculated and how vital it is to the child's well-being means that making any modifications is not done lightly, and they’re not easy to do either. The modifications need to be brought on by unexpected and significant changes. Losing your job seriously impacts your ability to make these payments, and although you’ve lost this income, it doesn’t stop your payments. 

Factors Considered for Modification

In this instance, when you are seeking a modification to your child support payments, there are key factors that judges will look for.

  • Temporary fluctuations in pay don’t qualify
  • Unemployment from leaving a job or getting fired won’t be considered
  • Deliberate underemployment could be considered retaliatory 

There is no guarantee that the court will approve your request, but it’s essential to do it as soon as possible. Seeking modification is a severe change in your parenting plan, and it’s important to be reasonable when making a request. 

Benefits of Early Action

Judges will not take your word for it when seeking a review and adjustments to the support, and having an experienced child support attorney will put your best foot forward. An experienced attorney can review the situation, determine if the modifications are reasonable, and even help you make favorable adjustments to improve your chances of getting the modification. Other things  you can do is:

  • Gather all of the documents
  • Consult with an experienced family law attorney
  • Showing measurable financial impact
  • Be reasonable in the amount
  • Sooner rather than later

Fighting for Your Family | Dennis Stanford Law Office

Each case is as unique as the family that we represent. Our experienced legal team will be able to give you a better understanding of your legal rights and the next steps we can take to protect them. 
At Dennis Stanford Law Office, we represent military and civilian families in child support cases throughout the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area. Family law matters can be heartbreaking. If you are facing a family law matter, contact us so our attorneys can provide you with the legal counseling and resources you need during this challenging time for your family.

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