Child support and custody issues can be extremely complicated for someone who’s facing them for the first time in Rhode Island. For instance, it’s not always easy to figure out what happens with child support in the event the noncustodial parent loses his or her job. This article contains some helpful information on the topic.
Unemployment and child support
Firstly, it’s important to understand that child support and custody don’t end when a parent loses his or her job. Generally speaking, a child support order won’t change unless either parent asks the court to do so, or there’s a fundamental change in circumstances that justifies modifying the existing agreement.
Since unemployment often comes with financial consequences for noncustodial parents, you may be able to negotiate a reduction in your monthly child support obligation. It’s also possible that your ex will agree to not ask you for any more money until you are back on your feet or have found another job even if you have a shared physical child custody arrangement.
When you lose your job, you may be able to apply for unemployment benefits from the state. Although child support is generally not considered when determining whether someone qualifies for unemployment benefits, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely excluded. You need to notify the unemployment office if you have a child support order in place so that it deducts that amount from the unemployment payments.
Keep working with the family court
If you end up in a situation in which your child support payments are too high compared to what you’re currently earning, you mustn’t ignore the issue.
The court will want an explanation as to why your financial circumstances have changed and may decide to not lower your monthly child support obligation unless you can offer a valid reason for the change.
It’s usually best to continue working with the family court system even if you think your child support obligations are too high. It makes sense for you to take a break from the payments while you look for work or wait until your situation changes.
In summary, child support and custody arrangements are usually based on what is in the best interests of your child. Just remember that defaulting on your payments has negative, long-term implications. Therefore, it’s important to be proactive as soon as possible when planning what will happen to your children after you lose your job.