Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I’m Unemployed?

Child support is one of the main factors that plays a role in family law cases. However, when an individual is unemployed, it is not always easy to consider how you will make these payments. The New Jersey courts apply what are known as Child Support Guidelines to help establish and modify child support amongst families. 

The guidelines, as applied through New Jersey law, include the following aspects: 

  • Child support must be furnished by the parents 
  • Children are entitled to be the beneficiaries of the child support proceeds 
  • Children should not become economic victims to a divorce or parental separation 

How Child Support is Determined in Voorhees Township, NJ 

There are many factors that help determine how much child support is owed, including the amount of income the parents make, commissions, work bonuses, Social Security payments, and the overnight parenting time arrangement. What happens when a parent does not have income? The court will help determine how much the party is able to earn based on their prior work history and their earning capacity from past information. Of course, there are factors that help determine if the party will be able to find work in their particular area and how much people in the area typically make from their jobs. 

When a Parent Tries to Avoid Paying Child Support 

It is not unheard of for a parent to try to avoid paying child support. Some parents feel as if they are punishing the other party by choosing unemployment in order to evade child support, such as quitting their job so that they can avoid making payments. The courts will recognize this and will order child support based on the imputed income of the parent, which means that they will have to find employment. Until the child’s needs are met, the court will determine this information based on the best interests of the child. 

If a Parent is Unable to Afford Child Support in New Jersey 

Of course, some parents do not choose to intentionally lose work but their circumstances change, leaving them unable to keep up with their payments. A parent who is not able to keep up with their payments should never stop making them without taking action. 

Instead, a parent is urged to go back to court so that they can have child support modified. If a parent does not return to court to have their support modified to meet their obligations, they will accrue an arrearage, which means that they will owe money and their former spouse will be able to file an enforcement motion or application against them. This could lead to the imposition of counsel fees, litigation costs, and even jail time. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the child support arrearages constitute a lifelong financial obligation which must be dealt with and cannot be discharged. 

Having Legal Help on Your Side if You Are Unemployed 

If you are unemployed and unable to meet your child support demands, it is important that you have a legal advocate on your side who can make you aware of your options. The laws surrounding New Jersey child support can be complex at times, which is why our attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman are here to assist you when it comes to your child support obligations and receiving a potential modification. Contact us at (856) 309-9007 for more information. 

Contact a Voorhees Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support Payments in New Jersey Today 

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Voorhees, Camden, Burlington and Gloucester. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207 Voorhees Township, New Jersey 08043. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.