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Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates A law firm. For life.
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Coping with Unemployment and Child Support Obligations


Losing a job is not easy, especially when you have a lot of financial obligations. The strain coupled with the financial responsibilities, including child support payments, can be overwhelming, but it’s important to understand that regardless of your employment status child support obligations don’t vanish.

To learn more about what steps you can take if you find yourself in this challenging situation, connect with a skilled West Palm Beach family attorney. Legal professionals are available to help you navigate the legal landscape while prioritizing the well-being of your children.

Communication and Seeking an Adjustment

Child support payment obligations are intended to ensure that a child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, education, and healthcare, are met. Because of this, even if you’ve lost your job, you need to recognize that your children’s needs haven’t disappeared. Finding a solution that honors your obligations while accommodating your current circumstances needs to be the next step.

If you’re unable to meet your child support obligations as outlined in your divorce agreement due to job loss, the first step is to communicate with your ex-spouse and, if necessary, seek legal advice. Be transparent about your situation and demonstrate your willingness to find a solution. Ignoring the issue or defaulting on payments can result in legal consequences, including wage garnishment, asset seizure, or even contempt of court charges.

When it is clear your financial situation will not be improving soon, know that in the state of Florida child support orders can be modified under certain circumstances, such as a substantial change in financial circumstances. To request a modification, you’ll need to file a petition with the court and provide evidence of your financial change.

Proof of your unemployment status could be established through termination letters, unemployment benefits statements, and job search efforts. Keep in mind that the court will consider various factors, including your earning capacity, skills, and efforts to secure employment, when determining the appropriate modification.

Other Factors to Address

While adjusting support payments may be top of mind after an income loss, also consider other aspects of your divorce settlement that could be impacted by your job loss. For instance, if your job provided health insurance for your children, you may be required to continue providing coverage under the divorce agreement. If you’re not able to afford COBRA, you may need to explore alternative options, such as obtaining coverage through the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid.

Beyond child support, losing a job may affect other financial agreements within a divorce settlement, such as alimony or property division. If your financial situation has changed significantly, you may be eligible for modifications to these agreements as well. Review your divorce decree carefully and consult with a West Palm Beach family attorney to understand your rights.

Should you talk to a lawyer after losing your job? If you have financial responsibilities connected to a divorce agreement, have a conversation with the legal team at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates to explore all of your available options. Schedule a free initial consultation to learn more.

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