Modification of Child Support Article
Modification of Child Support Due to Involuntary Reduction of Income
Upon being laid off from your job, telephoning your lawyer is probably one of the furthest things from your mind, but it shouldn’t be, especially if you’re paying Court ordered child support and/or alimony. Until such a time that you bring to the Court’s attention that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, your child support obligation continues “as is.” In fact, as each month passes, the recipient’s right to receive the support becomes
I can’t tell you how many times a client walks into my office asking me to represent him in Child Support Contempt proceedings brought against him all stemming from an involuntary reduction of income. Client’s are shocked to learn that the Court expects them to continue to pay the same amount of child support regardless of the fact that they are unemployed or that their income is significantly less than before.
In truth, the Court is very sympathetic and is willing to recalculate the support obligation, however, it’s up to you to file the necessary papers. The Court is not going to call you up each month and ask you how your job is going and whether you’re still making good money. As far as the Court is concerned, unless you file a Petition to Modify Support, it is assumed that all is well and that you’re earning at least as much as you were when the last support order was entered.
If you let a few months pass without filing a Petition to Modify Child Support you might find yourself behind in child support by thousands of dollars. Assuming you and your lawyer are able to convince the Court that the income reduction was involuntary; the Court will recalculate your child support obligation based upon your current income. In fact, the Court will apply the modification retroactively to the date your petition was filed. The Court will not modify your child support obligation to a date prior to the date you came knocking on the Court’s door.
So, if you lose your job, do yourself a favor and call your lawyer right away to discuss child support modification. I know what you’re thinking. Are you crazy? Why would I take my emergency money that I need to get me through this crisis and spend it on a lawyer? The answer to that question is rather simple. If you don’t then as each month passes, you’ll be digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole. Again, until such a time that you petition the Court for child support modification, it is assumed that you can pay it.
In closing, our office serves clients who are in need of caring and supportive family law services by providing clients with the information that they need to make informed decisions about the most important issues in their lives. Our Coral Springs law office serves clients in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale as well as Broward County and Palm Beach County. Call our office at 954-753-1003 to discuss the legal issues you are facing. You may also fill out our online contact form to provide our attorney with more information about your case.