Losing a job is an unfortunate reality for many Arkansans. When you enter the workforce, it's a possible outcome, regardless of your field. What makes it more difficult is when the layoff comes unexpectedly.
Unemployment is challenging enough without children. It gets increasingly complicated for those who have a child support obligation. What do you do?
In Arkansas, you're still responsible for making your monthly child support payments when you're unemployed. But there's more to this discussion than a simple yes or no answer.
Why Do I Have to Keep Paying If I'm Unemployed?
After learning that you're still responsible for child support payments regardless of your job situation, it's understandable to feel like your situation is unfair. You didn't quit your job without a backup. The company let you go.
However, Arkansas views both situations as the same and for a good reason. As a non-custodial parent, you must provide insurance and payments to care for your child.
Your payments ensure the child's needs are met regardless of your situation.
Are Unemployment Benefits an Option?
When you're suddenly unemployed, you're faced with many scary decisions. The reality of the situation is stressful. Thankfully, there are programs to help you get back on your feet.
Unemployment is a government-funded program to help people who can't find a job. While collecting unemployment checks, you are privy to certain benefits, one of which relates to child support.
Before you receive your unemployment check, the government will take your child support payment out of the check and send it to the child and custodial parent.
This payment strategy ensures you fulfill your responsibility and gives you money to live on while finding a new job.
Who Do I Tell When I'm Unemployed?
The worst thing to do is keep your unemployment a secret. Although you're still required to pay child support during this challenging time, secrecy won't help your situation.
As the unemployed parent, it's your responsibility to tell the custodial parent know about your new situation and assure them that you intend to continue paying child support.
After speaking with your ex, notify the court. Although they won't defer your payments or alter the amount, they must be aware of the situation.
Once everyone knows about your situation, document job applications and interviews as proof that you're actively searching for a new job. This added work and effort can bode well for you.
If you're still having a hard time finding new work, you can talk with a trusted group of lawyers to help you seek a child support modification to your court order. The only way to change your child support payment amount is through a requested modification.
Hickey and Hull Law Partners Can Help You
If you've tried finding new work for several months and are at your wit's end, we can help you get the financial peace you need. At Hickey and Hull Law Partners, we'll work with you to request a modification for your child support order. Contact us today to get started.