In most cases, a child support order will remain in effect even if a noncustodial parent loses his or her job. However, there is a chance that a Virginia judge will agree to modify the order until that person is able to find a new job. If you are a child’s custodial parent, you may ask a judge to modify an order if your son or daughter’s other parent becomes unemployed.
Changing support requires a judge’s order
Formerly changing a child support order requires a judge’s approval. Therefore, a noncustodial parent could still be subject to jail time, fines or other consequences for failing to make payments in a timely manner. However, you may choose to return payments to your former partner or take other steps to work with this person during a period of financial hardship.
Diverting unemployment benefits to your child
If your former spouse qualifies for unemployment benefits, he or she should attempt to make partial support payments. The state can work with an unemployed noncustodial parent to ensure that your child receives the financial assistance necessary to live a comfortable lifestyle.
What if your spouse or partner is voluntarily unemployed?
It isn’t uncommon for individuals to remain out of work to avoid making child support payments. However, it is important to note that a judge can structure an order based on an imputed income. An imputed income is what the court believes that a person should be making based on that individual’s level of education and work history.
If your spouse is going through a period of financial hardship, it is important to make sure that your child has their needs met. An attorney may be able to assist you in the process of compelling your son or daughter’s other parent to provide as much monetary assistance as possible. Garnishing the noncustodial parent’s wages or taking a portion of his or her tax refunds until back child support balances are fully paid off are some of the ways to ensure that you receive proper assistance.