David P. Badanes, Esq.

If you are unemployed does that automatically mean that you do not have to pay child support?  The short answer is “No”, simply being unemployed does not mean that a Court will not order you to pay child support.

When a court considers whether you can pay child support and the amount of child support, there are many factors it considers.  Simply being unemployed is not sufficient to establish that you do not have the income to pay child support.

First, the Court will inquire if your unemployment was voluntary or if you were fired “for cause”.  If you were fired “for cause”, meaning that you did something improper to cause your unemployment, then the Court will have very little sympathy for you.  In those cases, most likely the Court will not even take our unemployment in consideration.  However, if your unemployment was due to no fault of your own, for example, the company downsized or closed, then the Court will still want you to present more information about your lack of income.

Second, assuming your unemployment was not “for cause”, then you have to prove that you are using your best efforts to obtain employment that corresponds to your education, qualifications and experience.  You will need to show written that you are searching for employment.  The best way to do this is to keep a diary or log of all the jobs you have applied for and to print out your correspondence with the potential employers.  If you go on a job interview, make sure to put that in your diary/log and note the date, name of the company and the person who interviewed you.  If you receive any type of letter from a potential employer, then you should keep this.

Third, if you are unemployed and cannot find a job, then you must show how you are paying for your expenses.  The Court will want your children’s needs taken care of first before most of your other expenses.

If you need more information about what to do if you become unemployed or you are already unemployed and are facing child support payments, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office.  David Badanes has helped countless clients in Suffolk County and Nassau County in child support issues and divorce issues.  Call the Badanes Law Office today at: 631-239-1702, email us at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.

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