Unemployment & Child Support


#1

I am a divorced dad with one son. I recently was laid off from my job. I will be applying for unemployment benefits when my severance runs out. I have been paying child support for my son, but my ex wife and I have no legal agreement in place stating the amount of child support to pay…ie: it’s not court ordered. We have been using the child support calculator from the rosen.com website to determine the child support payment amount because we did not want to go to court or get attorney’s involved. I have always paid the amount that the calculator stated on time to my ex wife and there have never been any problems with this. I plan to use the online calculator to calculate the new child support amount once I am on unemployment. I know that my ex wife is going to be upset when the amount of child support drops significantly because of my job loss, as she does not work and this is her only source of income. Can she take me to court for more child support? Would the judge rule based on that online calculator? I have all of the documentation to supply to a judge supporting my job loss and unemployment benefits. Also, I am receiving 2 weeks of severance pay. Do I have to include that severance in the amount to pay her child support? I will probably be losing my home as a result of my job loss if I do not find another job soon. Will this be taken into consideration?
Thank you for your help.


#2

Your ex can take you to court for child support and she could seek an Order deviating from the Guidelines, however the judge could decide the case is not appropriate for a deviation, and can even impute income to your ex, unless she has a valid reason for not working.

Your income as it is will be considered (not your expenses), and the court will likely require you to demonstrate that you are looking for work.


#3

What is an Order for deviating guidelines? And, how have I deviated from these guidelines?


#4

Your ex could ask the court to Order support deviating from the Guidelines ie: ask that support be Ordered in a higher amount than the Guideline support would be based on your unemployment.


#5

So, am I safe to say that the child support calculator online is a good tool to use in determining the proper amount I need to pay? If she were to take me to court, is that what they would probably use to determine my child support amount?


#6

Yes, the online calculator is certainly the best tool to estimate child support, courts rarely deviate from the guidelines which are the basis for the calculator.