If your job is temporarily on hold or you are unable to work for another reason, you may have a hard time paying child support. Even though you may expect to resume receiving a regular paycheck soon, simply not making child support payments is not an option.

You need to take steps or your child’s other parent may try to hold you in contempt for failing to follow the court order.

Your obligation

According to the Snohomish County Government website, the court will not relieve you of your child support obligation. Your child’s needs have not changed even though your job situation has. Any outstanding amounts will remain outstanding.

The court encourages parents to work together to come to an agreement. If you and the other parent are able to work out a compromise, put the agreement in writing.

Temporary relief

The judge will not automatically rule that you are in contempt if the other parent takes you to court. You can seek temporary relief by submitting all the information about your current circumstances to the courts. If you have a signed agreement with the other parent, you should submit this, as well.

The judge considers each case based on the individual’s situation. If the State of Washington is a party in your support case, you should contact the Washington State Division of Child Support to discuss your circumstances and find out your next steps.

The parenting plan

Whether or not you make your payments, it should not affect your time with your child. The other parent must not withhold your child from you due to your outstanding obligation. If he or she does so, you can file a contempt order.