Non-custodial parents who unexpectedly lose their jobs may want more information about the effects of unemployment on an active child support order. In New Jersey and other states, child support orders are in place to help ensure that the children’s needs are met. Parents will generally find that a child support order remains in effect even when the party who is responsible for making the payments is not working. When they explore the options that are available to them, unemployed parents may find that this potentially stressful situation can be successfully navigated.
Upon notification, the unemployment office will deduct child support payments from an eligible parent’s unemployment wages. The state is prepared to assist parents in determining their eligibility for these wages. An ineligible parent is advised to remain in close contact with the child’s other parent and the family court during the job search process. The search should be documented, and child support payments should be made by check until they can once again be deducted from wages.
Although unemployment may create a difficult financial situation, the non-custodial parent’s responsibility to support the children does not end with the loss of a job. Parents who miss making one or more scheduled payments may see the amount of their future support payments increase to cover the arrears. Both non-custodial and custodial parents should be aware that the child support order cannot be changed without approval by the court.
When non-custodial parents in New Jersey find themselves in dire need of relief due to a change of circumstances, they may want to seek advice from an attorney who is practiced in family law. Dependent upon each unique situation, the attorney may be able to file for a modification of the child support order on a client’s behalf. The attorney may help protect the client’s rights while working to preserve the best interests of the children.