Some courts may consider reducing child support payments when a parent is unemployed or underemployed. Additionally, a court may have a difficult time calculating a child support award when a parent is unemployed or underemployed. Here is some information about factors considered in reducing or calculating child support payments due to unemployment and underemployment:
Ways to Calculate Income for Unemployed or Underemployed Parents
Courts may choose two ways to ways to handle child support payments during a parent's unemployment or underemployment. A court may:
- Impute income and require payment now
- Institute a search for work order and reserve payment for the future
A court will base child support payments on a parent's:
- Work history
- Minimum wage
Combination of Calculation Methods for Unemployed or Underemployed Parents
Instead of choosing one method of calculating child support for the unemployed or underemployed, a court may:
- Order a parent to seek work for a specified period of time. If he/she is unsuccessful, then a court will order child support payments to be made based on a minimum support level.
- Check with employers to discover whether a parent applied for work.
- Determine whether any employment that is obtained is temporary or permanent, thus calculating a child support payment or reduction.
Documentation to Prove Unemployed or Underemployment Status
Be prepared to present the following proof of unemployment or underemployment. Examples of appropriate documentation that will assist a non-custodial parent in reducing their child support payments are:
- Termination letters
- Severance package details
- Log of job search to match former income level
For more information about reducing child support payments due to underemployment or unemployment, please speak with a member of the court's personnel in your state. You may also visit additional resources about child support modifications.