You may be able to seek a modification of your alimony and child support obligations if you lose your job. You can attempt to modify your agreement voluntarily or file a motion in court.
Child Support Modifications
Child support in North Carolina is determined by your income and the number of nights each parent spends with the child during the year. If your income substantially decreases, you may seek a modification using the child support guidelines.
If—when using your new, reduced income—the child support guidelines would change your obligations by 15% or more, you can ask the court to make an adjustment due to a substantial change in circumstances.
A court may look at the reason you lost your job. If you simply stopped showing up to work without reason, the court may look less favorably on your case. This is similar to cases where a parent refuses to seek work and is imputed with a reasonable income for child support purposes.
Your other income will also be considered if you are receiving unemployment or have taken another job. Seek legal assistance quickly because it can take a while to work your case through the system.
You should review your alimony agreement to see if mentions anything about modifications. There may be procedures for seeking a modification in certain situations, such as loss of employment.
If not, you could ask your ex-spouse if they will agree to a modification. They are not required to agree, but if they do, it would be a simpler fix than going to court.
Your last option is to seek a modification in court. The alimony calculation is different than child support because there are no clear-cut guidelines. However, the payor spouse’s ability to pay is one factor considered when determining alimony payments. If your income has been significantly reduced, this could qualify as a substantial change in circumstances.
Don’t hesitate if you’ve lost your job and won’t be able to meet your child support or alimony modifications. Contact a family law attorney to discuss your case and move forward with your requests for child support and/or alimony modifications.
At King Law Offices, we understand the challenges involved in any family law matter. Our goal is to help guide you through this process and listen to your concerns. Come visit us at one of our multiple office locations throughout North and South Carolina.