Parenting

Is losing your job a valid reason to decrease your child support obligations?

COVID-19 pandemic has put lives to a halt. But your necessary financial commitments, especially the child support obligations, are still the same. With the uncertainty and insecurity surrounding the situation, the financial implications have further worsened the circumstances.

People are already struggling to have their ends met because of losing jobs and unannounced pay cuts. During the time another rising concern among parents is: is it a valid reason to decrease your child support obligations?

Well, it might not be. The family lawyers have made the situation evident. According to them, the current financial challenges do not “automatically” authorize you to step away from your obligations. Not only that, if you do not fulfill your responsibility in this regard, you might also face legal implications.

However, there are certain ways that you can go about it. Here are some of the ways you can make adjustments in your child support obligations keeping the legal requirements in view.

Lost a job during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here is how you can modify your child support obligations

If you are from New York, you can officially get your financial obligations decreased by applying to the Family Court and requesting for a downward modification of the order.

Only in the situation where a parent has lost their job, the court may allow such modification but under the following circumstances;

  • If there is a substantial proven change in circumstances: If there is a significant change in parent’s income or the cost of raising the child, the court may show flexibility and allow an adjustment in child support.

Both parents must note that the adjustment might be upward or downward.

  • If there is an involuntary change in the income: If the income of either parent decrease by 15% or more since the court entered the arrangement, modified, or adjusted the order, the parent can approach the court requesting a downward modification of child support.

Do you need to provide evidence?

The asks parents to provide evidence with their request in either of the above-mentioned cases. They have to provide substantial proof indicating that they are making sincere efforts to find new employment and cannot currently earn at the same previous level when they signed up for child support.

Are courts open to address the applications regarding child support obligations?

Unlike the initial days of the COVID-19 lockdown, the courts all across the US are now open. You can approach them with your applications regarding child support either in-person or virtually.

Here’s what you need to do

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to file to approach the court and apply for relaxation in child support obligations. Till then, you need to fulfill your child support obligations to the extent possible.

Other than that, you might also consider reaching out to your co-parent and inform them about your circumstances. It will possibly result in a consensus where they might settle to accommodate you till you find your way out of it.

However, even paying a fraction of your due obligation will cast a good impression on the Family Court. In any circumstances, you must show dedicated and honest efforts towards supporting your child.

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