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How does job loss affect child support and alimony payments?

Child support and alimony are parts of a divorce decree that provide necessary income to those who need it after a divorce. A court decides the conditions of an order based on the circumstances that were present during the divorce. However, when life changes and you suddenly lose your job, how can that impact your child support and alimony payments?

Less than half of all child support payments are paid in full. When someone’s life changes in such a way that their divorce decree is no longer appropriate, they may need to modify the child support order.

How does a divorce decree work?

Job loss is a common reason to modify a divorce decree. The modification of a divorce agreement starts with the ex-spouse. If the ex-spouse agrees that the basis for an adjustment is valid, both parties can stipulate the change. The request to modify will still need to go to court, but it usually moves quickly if both parties agree to the proposed modification.

Things can become more complicated if the ex-spouse disagrees with the proposed modification to reduce alimony or spousal support. The applying ex-spouse will need to take their request to court, where they will consider several factors such as:

  • The nature of the job loss: if the applicant chose to quit their job, caused their job loss, or if they lost it for reasons beyond their control, this can impact the decision the court makes.
  • Any extra income: if the applicant has any other income that affects their ability to pay alimony or child support, the court may be less inclined to modify an agreement.
  • The potential to earn additional employment: if the applicant is no longer able to receive the same level of income as their last job, it can help convince the court to modify an agreement.

No matter the circumstances, an experienced family law attorney can help someone modify a divorce decree when life changes unexpectedly.

Fight for change

If you have experienced a severe change in circumstances like job loss, you may be able to modify your divorce agreement to reflect your changes. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your future.