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While we continue to see employers seeking to hire employee, we have also continued to see people remaining on unemployment benefits, especially leading up to this holiday season.  Losing one’s job could affect a dissolution or custody agreement in a few different ways, but the most common issue we see is the impact on child support.

If someone loses his or her job and begins to receive unemployment benefits, it is likely that their net weekly income will decrease. If you are the payor (person who pays child support), and your income has decreased, you should file a motion for modification as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many people think that if their circumstances change, they can unilaterally change the support payment.  However, that is not true, and the actual Court Order will not be modified without a pending motion. This causes numerous issues because then the payee (person who receives child support) is short on money, has not budgeted for it, and often wants to pursue contempt charges.  The payor also often unknowingly accrues an arrearage that he or she will have to pay back over time.

Other issues come into play here as well. For example, if someone is now making minimum wage, but is capable of a higher earning capacity, should he or she be imputed at that earning capacity? Should the imputed income be minimum wage or their prior salary? Or a different earning capacity all together? What if they voluntarily quit their job and are not even receiving unemployment benefits? These are unfortunately common scenarios that we see regularly.  If you have lost your job and need to modify your support order, or if you are no longer receiving the support you are entitled to, you should consult with a lawyer to determine the best way to proceed.

Ever Argue with a Woman? If you need assistance in modifying your current support order, contact Wolf & Shore Law Group at 203.745.3151 or  We’re here to make your financial disputes easier, not harder.

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