Child support orders are typically issued in
paternity cases. Even though child support orders are made every day, a lot of parents
have misunderstandings about their state’s child support laws and
Florida parents are no exception. Often, these misunderstandings can lead
to mistakes and preventable legal problems, especially for noncustodial
parents who pay child support.
If you’re the noncustodial parent who has been ordered to pay child
support and for some reason, you lose your job, you may wonder if you
don’t have to pay child support since you don’t have any income.
Unfortunately, it does not work that way and that is one of the biggest
confusions that paying parents to have about child support.
Noncustodial Parents Must Pay Child Support
Because child support payments are based on income, it’s understandable
why so many parents get confused about unemployment and child support.
Often, a parent will lose their job and stop paying child support, but
that doesn’t stop the child support from accruing, and there’s
no way the parent can convince the court to reduce their payments going
back to the date they became unemployed. Why? Because child support is
Parents are generally expected to support their children until they turn
18 or graduate high school, whichever happens later. That obligation does
not change if either parent becomes unemployed, disabled, or even incarcerated.
So, what do you do if you lose your job for some reason? What options
do you have? You ask the court for a downward modification.
Petitioning for a Downward Modification
Florida child support orders are based on both parents’ incomes as
well as the child’s needs. If you become unemployed or if your income
reduces significantly, you can ask the family court for a downward modification
if your current child support order has not been reviewed or changed in
the last three years, or if you can show the court that you have experienced
a big life change; a job loss would certainly fit those criteria.
Note: Child support can be taken from unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation,
and Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, however, it cannot be
taken from Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
What is Civil Contempt of Court?
If you need help with a child support matter,
contact R. Gregory Colvin, LLC today.