Select Page

Lost Your Job? Can You Reduce Your Child Support or Alimony Payments?

by | Jan 22, 2019 | child custody and support, divorce, Family Law Attorney, Family Law Lawyer, marital property, News and Events, spousal support

Once you’ve been ordered to pay child support or alimony by a Long Island court, there are very few circumstances in which you can stop or even lower your payments. One of these is if you lose your job. However, this does not mean that as soon as you lose your job that you can simply stop making child support or alimony payments — doing so could cause you a great deal of trouble. Here’s what you should do if you’re making child support or alimony payments on Long Island and lose your job or receive a reduction in salary.

Divorce Attorney Consultation

Contact a Long Island Divorce Attorney to Get Your Payments Modified

Child support and alimony payments can be modified if circumstances have changed. Job loss would certainly count as a change of circumstance, as would receiving a significant loss of income. Essentially what will need to be done is the court will need to recalculate what you can reasonably pay using your new income. If your new income is zero because you don’t have a job, it’s possible that your child support or alimony will be reduced significantly or even paused while you look for a new job.

You may need to show the court that your income is likely to be reduced for a reasonable period of time and that you are actively looking for employment. For example, if you have a new job by the time your court date arrives, it’s unlikely that you will receive a significant reduction in your child support or alimony responsibility. Your payments will be recalculated based on your new income, which may be more or less depending on how much you’re earning in your new job. However, if you are able to show the court that you have made a reasonable effort to find employment and are still unemployed, the court could make a decision to lower or pause your payments temporarily.

Once you do get another job, you will need to notify the courts right away. It may be tempting to wait and enjoy the extra money for a little while, but the court will calculate the child support you owe based on the date you became employed and you will be required to pay any back support. The court may also require you to make up for the time that you missed while you were unemployed, so long as the payment is still considered within your means and ability to pay it given your new income.

What Happens If I Just Stop Paying Child Support or Alimony?

Even if your job loss comes suddenly and you cannot afford to make your next payment, you should never stop paying child support or alimony without contacting a lawyer or the court to let them know what happened. If you simply stop paying, you could be held in contempt of court, which may result in penalties such as fines or even jail time — all of which you can avoid by simply communicating with the court.

If you lose your job suddenly, it may mean that you need to contact the court or a lawyer very quickly, however, this is preferable to missing a payment without the court knowing beforehand that you’ve lost your job. It won’t matter that you lost your job if the court has to come looking for you for payments — you’ve still violated the divorce or custody agreement and can still be held in contempt of court.

Check out our Divorce Guide for Dads for more information about divorce issues specifically related to fathers.

Contact a Long Island Divorce Law Firm for Help

Paying child support and/or alimony can be burdensome, even when you are making plenty of money. Losing your job and seeing those payments looming ahead of you can be nerve wracking. At our Long Island divorce law firm, we can help you get your payments modified the right way, so you can avoid penalties and show the court that you believe making your payments is important, but you simply aren’t able to with a reduced or eliminated income.

Call now for a free consultation to discover how we can assist you with the modification of your child support or alimony payments at 631-923-1910.

See this page for Your Guide to Preparing for a Contested Divorce.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

All Fields Are Required

Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
Google Review of divorce longisland
Janine Martello D'onofrio
Janine Martello D'onofrio
21:00 02 Oct 21
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !
Tara Tocci
Tara Tocci
20:59 17 Sep 21
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!
Successful Divorce Strategies Free eBook
divorce questions answered
Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Tools
Spousal Maintenance Calculator
Child Support Calculator

Pin It on Pinterest