Lost your job? Child support and unemployment
If you are struggling to pay child support because you have lost your job, you are not alone. In the United States, unemployment rate has gone up to 14.7%. The pandemic has affected job rate. People have lost their jobs. Companies have cut down employment. Sales have gone down. Also, the stay-at-home has reduced the chance of working.
All of these have caused many parents to become unemployed. They are not able to pay their child support.
Even worse, the economist and government are not sure when the economy will recover.
Child support accumulate interests. In other words, it continues to increase, generally at 6 percent. There are options.
You may file a petition in the court for a modification of your child support amount. If you are unable to make payments towards your child support, then ask the court for a decrease. You may need to provide evidence that you are looking for work. The Texas Family Code allows the court to look at your employability (ability to work) – instead of your current job status. This is particularly true if you are intentionally unemployed or underemployed.
Pay what you can at this moment. When you stop paying, you may be held in contempt of a court order.
In addition, if there is no current order in place, you need one first.
It matters when you file. If the court grants your request for decrease in child support, then the clock starts from when you file or when you served the parties. When a non-custodial parent is unemployed, it affects the financial welfare of the child. You should let the other parent (custodial) know as well as the attorney general’s office (if you make payment through the state disbursement unit).
Remember the purpose of child support enforcement. The goal is to make sure that a parent does not neglect their financial responsibility. Also, the purpose of child support is to remedy the state’s payment for medical support.
The CARE Act
The federal government provided economic relief to Americans. Through the stimulus check, many American families received financial help. However, there is only so much that a check can do.
The CARE Act provide up to $1,200 for individual who earn less then $75,000. For married couple whose income is less than $150,000, they can receive up to $2,400. Also, families with children receive an additional $500 per child.
Get the legal help you need.
One of our staff can help you look into modification. We will help evaluate the facts of your case and provide you with the resources you need.