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Dealing with child support payments after a job loss

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Family law

No matter how stable one’s job is, no one can predict what could happen in a few months or years. For instance, no one expected a pandemic to break out in 2020, but it still did and led to mass layoffs. Whether due to an economic downturn or company cost-cutting, losing a job significantly affects one’s finances. And parents who have to support their children continuously especially suffer the consequences of job loss.

Fortunately, it is possible to modify child support orders because of job or income loss.

Texas rules on support modification

The state recognizes that employment changes can significantly affect a parent’s capacity to pay child support continuously. For this reason, Texas allows the concerned parent to request a review of circumstances to determine if the situation qualifies for a modification. Note that a parent must actively petition the court for a review. Otherwise, they must comply with the original support order.

What support changes can apply?

It is important to know that losing a job does not automatically cancel a parent’s obligation to pay support. While the family court can lower the amount of support payment to match the parent’s new income or current paying capacity, it is rare for the court to order a total stop on the payments. This is because the courts heavily prioritize the child’s well-being and stopping support payments would most likely cause detrimental changes in the child’s life.

Dealing with the effects of a job loss can be worrying, especially if you have another individual to support. But know that there are available recourses for you. Whether through an out-of-court settlement or a court trial, you can still request adjustments to match your current financial capacity.