Losing your job is a stressful event, filled with uncertainties and concerns about the future. If you have child support obligations in Washington state, this situation can become even more worrisome.
You may wonder about your ability to continue making child support payments and what might happen if you fail to do so. Understanding your obligations and knowing the steps to take can greatly alleviate your stress.
File a modification request
If you lose your job and are unable to meet your child support obligations, you should immediately file a modification request with the court. You must prove that you have had a substantial change in circumstances. In Washington, losing a job can qualify as a substantial change.
Prove your change in circumstances
When you request a modification of child support, you need to show proof of your change in circumstances. This includes documents like a termination notice, unemployment benefits statement or any evidence showing job loss. The court will review these documents and your current financial situation before making a decision.
Await the court’s decision
After filing a modification request, you must continue making child support payments to the best of your ability. If you stop payments completely, you may accrue debt, and the court can enforce collection efforts. When the court makes its decision, it can adjust your child support payments accordingly.
Contact the Division of Child Support
Aside from filing a modification request, you should also inform the Division of Child Support about your job loss. They can provide information and assistance during this challenging time. Remember, they are there to ensure the child has their best interests met, which includes working with you on feasible payment options.
By taking immediate action, you can navigate this challenging time while ensuring you meet your obligations and protect your child’s best interests.