I lost my job….what about child support?

This is a tough economy.  Many people are losing their jobs, or being required to take a pay cut in order to keep their jobs.  This is always a difficult time, but it can be a really bad time if you owe child support.

In Virginia, child support is based on the guidelines that are found in the Code of Virginia Section 20-108.2 and these numbers are based on the monthly gross incomes of the parents.   Once the court orders the amount of child support, that amount stays the same until the court modifies the amount.  Even if your income drops dramatically, the amount will not change until and unless you petition the court for a modification in the child support amount and the court makes a new child support order.

I’ve had clients who didn’t really understand this and just didn’t pay their child support payments for a few years.  That’s right….a few years!  I had one client that was injured on his job and not able to work but his child support stayed the same.  The result, he owed over $40,000 in back child support!  And interest on that amount.

If you’ve lost your job and you are ordered to pay child support, you really should consider filing a petition to have the child support amount redetermined.  Losing your job would be considered a ‘material change in circumstances’ which should allow the courts to recalculate the amounts.

If you need help, give us a call at 757-234-4650.

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