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What should I do if I lose my job and owe child support?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2019 | Family Law

Child support is something that many people in Arkansas must pay to the other parent of their children. This payment is meant to assist with the care of the children. It serves as your monetary contribution to your children’s upbringing to ensure that they do not suffer because you are not in the home. Admittedly, child support can be a strain on your finances, but it is your legal obligation. However, if you face a job loss, it could really put your financial situation in peril.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration explains that losing your job does not excuse you from making child support payments. You still have that legal obligation. The court order still stands regardless of your financial situation.

What you should do is contact the child support office and explain what has happened. Let them know you cannot pay your child support. They cannot stop your obligation, but it does help to keep them informed.

You may be able to go back to court to have your case modified, which is the only way to change child support. However, you must wait at least six months between modifications or six months after you lose your job.

In the meantime, you should look into other benefits you may qualify for, such as unemployment or workers’ compensation, which can help make up your income loss. Do be aware that the court can file an order to withhold your child support directly from your unemployment benefits. The court can make an order to withhold money from any government benefits you receive. This information is for education and is not legal advice.


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