Can I Stop Paying Child Support if I Lost my Job in NY?

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Your life may change drastically over time. As a result, an arrangement that was made at one point may no longer hold up down the line. For example, if you lose your job, you may not be able to continue making child support payments. Read on to learn more.

Do I have to continue making child support payments if I lost my job?

If you have lost your job, you still have to pay child support. In fact, payments should not stop unless there is a formal order or agreement from the court. However, things happen and financial situations can change drastically. In cases like this, modifications can be made in order to adjust the amount or frequency of payments. Child support is partially determined by your income, so if there is a large change in income, you may need to modify your arrangements.

It is important to note that there are some cases in which you have lost a job and cannot request a modification. For example, if you quit your job, or you are fired due to gross negligence or criminal wrongdoing, you will likely not be able to modify your arrangements.

Can I modify my child support payments?

Child support may be modified in the event of unemployment, but you must be able to prove that there was a substantial and unexpected change to your life/finances. When making a decision about modifications, the court will ask the following questions:

  • Has the individual been out of work for at least 90 days prior to seeking the alimony modification?
  • What was the reason for the loss of employment?
  • What has the individual done in the meantime to find a replacement position or alternative means of income?
  • Is the individual able to physically and mentally obtain and retain employment?
  • Did the individual receive and severance payment from their previous employer?

What if I fail to make child support payments?

As previously stated, you cannot stop making child support payments without official consent from the court. If you fail to pay your court-ordered child support, you may face the following consequences:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Property liens
  • Suspension of drivers’ licenses
  • Imprisonment

If you have recently lost your job, our firm is here to help you modify your child support payments. Reach out today to discuss your options with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney.


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