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If your ex gets fired, can they stop paying child support?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Family Law

Your ex has been paying child support ever since the divorce, but you’re worried that those payments may soon end. Companies in the area have been making layoffs, and your ex recently lost their job. The child support payments were determined based on their income, but they aren’t getting any income right now, so they’ve told you that they’re going to stop paying.

This is problematic for you because you count on those child support payments. You also wonder if your ex can stop paying since there’s a court order saying that they are still obligated to make those child support payments. Does the loss of a job justify discontinuing the payments?

Payments are still required, but orders can be modified

No, your ex cannot legally stop paying. Since the court order is still on file, they are legally obligated to follow it. They need to make the child support payments to the best of their ability.

Of course, it is understandable that they would have trouble making those payments if they lost their income. This can also happen if there’s been a significant reduction in income, such as if your ex got a part-time job that pays half as much as they used to earn.

However, there are steps that must be taken. They can go to the court, request a modification and then get a brand new court order for reduced payments – making them affordable again. But it is illegal for your ex to decide on their own that they are not going to pay, without modifying the order.

This type of situation certainly can get complex and may lead to a dispute or litigation. Be sure you know what legal steps to take.