Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support if I Lost My Job?

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If you lose your job, it is stressful enough to think about how you are going to support yourself, let alone your child. Find out how your child support order will be impacted by your unemployment and how a talented Nassau County child support lawyer of Barrows Levy PLLC can help you navigate this difficult financial situation.

How are child support payment amounts determined in New York?

Courts will always follow the New York Child Support Standards Act, which seeks to fairly and justly determine the financial cost of raising a child. The act will take a percentage of the combined income between parents of up to $148,000. From there, they will proportionally distribute the support between both parents. Depending on the number of children the couple has, the percentages will vary. They are as follows:

  • One child: 17%
  • Two children: 25%
  • Three children: 29%
  • Four children: 31%
  • Five or more children: at least 35%

Do I still have to pay child support if I lose my job?

One of the many factors that New York courts use to determine child support payments is both parents’ yearly incomes. Because there is a multitude of considerations, your order does not automatically end when your source of income ends. If you stop paying, owed payments will continue to add up until the court changes the order. Therefore, you must go to court as soon as possible to file a petition explaining the change in your circumstances and asking for a modification of the order.

How can I modify my child support payments?

It can be difficult to modify your child support agreement. It will usually only be modified when a major unexpected change occurs, which loss of employment may fall under. However, certain circumstances will not qualify for modifications. For example, if you are unemployed because you quit your job, or you were fired for negligence or criminal misbehavior, you will probably not be able to modify your agreement.

A helpful tip while waiting for word on a modification is that the order of support can be deducted from both unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation. But this should only be a temporary solution, especially if those payments are less than the amount of the original order.

If you have lost your job and are struggling to pay child support, do not hesitate in contacting a proficient Nassau County family law attorney today who can guide you through the modification process.


Barrows Levy PLLC is a highly experienced New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are ready to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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