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Can child support be modified due to job loss?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Firm News

In Louisiana family law cases, child support can be a challenging issue. The obvious objective is to take care of the child and serve their best interests.

However, obstacles sometimes arise and people need to consider asking for a modification of the amount they are supposed to pay or receive.

When requesting modifications, it is imperative to understand the law and how the courts decide on these matters. This is true from the perspective of the paying party and the receiving party. A fundamental part is knowing what is categorized as a “material change in circumstances” and to have professional assistance with changing the order.

What should I know about job loss with child support?

It is not unusual for people to experience sudden financial hardship for myriad reasons. Job loss is one such reason.

Even people who have not lost their job could suddenly see reduced income if they work on commission or have a business that is experiencing a downturn. This can damage their entire financial situation and leave them wondering how to make ends meet.

Job loss is a material change in circumstances, and can justify a modification in a child support order.

This could be the custodial parent who is receiving support payments or the noncustodial parent who is paying. If it is the custodial parent, they may need time to get another job and face the prospect of trying to get a job that can accommodate their schedule while having a child. This qualifies as a change in circumstances.

The paying parent could lose their job and need to lower what they pay with the custodial parent picking up some of the slack while they search for new employment.

In addition, job loss might also mean the loss of health insurance. That too can mean the support payments must change.

Consulting with professionals is key

When a person is asking for the modification, the amount could increase, decrease or stay the same.

The court has a formula it uses to calculate how much the child support order will be when it is first implemented. Modifications will reflect the situation and be essential with the court making a change.

The primary goal is to serve a child’s best interests. Still, the parents’ ability to pay and care for the child can be impacted by issues out of their control.

Changing the child support order is an option to address their needs while still caring for the child. In these complex cases, it is vital to have experienced assistance to try and reach a suitable outcome.