Not being able to pay for basic needs after a job loss is stressful enough. If you can’t pay child support, you could face several legal consequences. If you recently had your income reduced, talk to an attorney as soon as possible about a child support modification.
The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the U.S. in 2020 has turned lives upside down. For many, that means they earned little to no income for many weeks or months, and some people have been unemployed long-term. With tens of thousands of Texans lacking work or facing a reduction in hours and pay, many parents are left wondering how they will keep paying court-ordered child support. Many can’t even afford to put food on their table at this time.
Suppose you are a parent who recently became unemployed, and you are unsure how you will continue to fulfill your child support obligations. In that case, you can learn more about your options by speaking to a knowledgeable Sugar Land custody modification lawyer.
Can I Stop Paying Child Support if I Lose My Job?
Whatever your circumstances, do not simply stop paying child support. You can face serious legal consequences for doing so, even if it’s because you are no longer employed or have had a substantial reduction in pay. Instead, consult with an experienced Sugar Land custody modification attorney who can help you request the modification of your child support orders.
When Can Child Support Orders be Modified?
Texas Family Code allows family courts to modify a child support order if “the circumstances of [a] child or a person affected by the order [to pay child support] have materially and substantially changed” since the original or previous order was entered. Child support amounts can also be modified if it’s been over three years since the order was put in place or if the “monthly amount of the child support award under the order differs by either twenty percent (20%) or $100 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines,” according to Texas Family Code.
Both the loss of a job and a substantial decrease in wages are considered a “material and substantial” change in circumstances allowing the family court to modify a child support order. If you have experienced either due to COVID-19 or another reason, you have reason to request that the court change your monthly child support obligations.
Modifications or adjustments of child support don’t happen automatically. To change the amount, whether more or less, one party must file a formal request, known as a petition with the court. A seasoned Sugar Land custody modification lawyer can help you file such a request.
Turn to an Experienced Sugar Land Custody Modification Lawyer for Help
You don’t have to go through this stressful time alone. Schedule a child support modification consultation with an experienced Sugar Land custody modification attorney at Jaime Jordan, PLLC, today. We can be reached by phone at (832) 463-4933 or online.