It can be incredibly deflating to lose your job. No matter if you have a job or are fortunate enough to have a career, human beings derive a great deal of their self-worth and identity through our places of employment. It may not be much, but it may be something that is likely a thought that you’ve had at some point in your life. I know that I’ve had this thought in previous jobs while in college and law school. Your daily job is something you may roll your eyes at on occasion when the alarm goes off in the morning but losing your job and finding work can be a complicated and emotionally taxing endeavor. With that said, finding a job is essential for you to support yourself in your family.
It is common in family law cases for one parent to pay child support to another parent with the help of help children. Typically speaking, the parent who has primary custody of the children will receive child support, and the parent who has Visvisitationghts will pay child support. Thinking behind this structure is that the parent who sees the children less will also have less skin in the game, so to speak, as far as paying for the daily essentials of life for that child. Child support is intended to even the playing field to make sure all parties involved have reasonable amounts of responsibility relative to how often they see their children.
Child support is tricky in a divorce or child custody case because everyone gets a little worked up when money is involved. In reality, child support is typically paid through a state disbursement unit provided by the attorney general’s office. Your paycheck will have child support taken out of it at the beginning of each month, and that will go directly to the bank account of your child’s other parent. They will then be responsible for paying for whatever your child has coming to or just making sure your child has a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear. This setup removes a lot of the uncertainty from relying on you and your child’s other parent to make sure that payment is made and received each month.
On top of that, child support is typically calculated by using a pretty straightforward method contained in the Texas family code. Essentially, your net monthly income will be calculated and multiplied by a percentage ranging between 20 and 50%. That percentage will determine how much of your income you end up paying per month in child support. A specific amount will be included in your final decree of divorce custody orders, and that will be what you have to pay each month as far as child support is concerned. Where the trouble comes in is regarding the emotions around child support and how your family’s specific circumstances may play into its calculation.
There is something about paying money to your ex-spouse that most people, understandably, are not big fans of. A divorce acts not only as a legal dissolution of a marriage, but it also acts as a symbolic and of that relationship as well as a period of your life. It can be frustrating for many people to understand that they still have a significant connesignificant to their ex-spouse through having to pay child support to them. Paying to spend your children is something very few people have problems with. It is the paying to support your children and having that money go through an ex-spouse that many people have issues with.
One of the things that I have heard from clients in the past is that people would feel better if there was some way to track how that money was spent. In their mind, something would have to be done where once the money goes into the bank account of their ex-spouse, there will be some mechanism in place to ensure that the money is spent on their children and not spent on something frivolous for the ex-spouse. While this is an exciting thought, it is one doubtless that many people have had. I don’t think that it is practical.
Not only is it not practical, but considerer how you would feel if the shoe were on the other foot and you were the spouse who was receiving child support. Would you favor the government to track how you spend your money and how you allocate resources to your children? I doubt it a great deal. In addition, imagine how much more expensive getting a divorce maymay brought a court if the courts also had to pay for someone to track how you spend your child support. I don’t think that this is worth it; it is something that I would not want to see implemented, personally.
As it stands, child support can be a particular aspect of your family law case and is not something that requires too much negotiation for most people. However, there are circumstances involved in some family law cases where Extraordinary circumstances exist that demand deviation from the standard guidelines for child support. Notably, suppose you earn a great deal of income on a month every month. In that case, it could be argued that fairness requires that a more incredible anymore significant child support be paid above and beyond the usual guide standard.
The best place to achieve some parity when it comes to child support payments would be in mediation. Mediation allows you and your spouse to negotiate an amount of child support that is proper for your circumstances. Not only could the above guidelines child support be fair if you earn a great deal of money, but it may also be necessary if your child has a particular need like a medical condition that requires constant intervention or even additional care such as from a nurse. In cases like those, it would be reasonable to expect that a person who could afford to pay more in child support would do so.
The bottom line is that when it comes to paying child support, it is up to you and your family to handle this subject. Your circumstances may require some degree of deviation from the norm as far as child support guidelines are concerned. We have already talked about how a higher than average income, special medical needs for your child, or other circumstances can lead to a situation where more outstanding anymore significant child support needs to be paid. This is something that can be dealt with fairly by dividing up your community estate in a way that allows for the payor of child support to receive a disproportionate share in order totor more significant amounts of child support that will be paid on a monthlmonthlynything when it comes to negotiations; you should consult with your experienced family law attorney before proceeding into matters like these. You do not want to be caught in a situation where you cannot problem solve your way through issues related to your finances and your ability to provide for your family in the future. While most attorneys will tell you that they can handle your divorce or child custody case, it is best left to those who have a great deal of experience in doing so. An experienced family law attorney is your best advocate in situations like these and can make a tremendous difference in your quality of life and that of your family.
What happens if you lose your job during the coronavirus pandemic?
This is theThist important crucial that we have to answer in today’s blog post. In reality, never a good thing to lose your job at any point in time. It is especially not a good thing to lose a job during a pandemic when jobs are scarcer and more people are looking for the period we have seen that many areas of the economy have been shut down entirely pandemic. I am thinking about hospitality, restaurants, entertainment, and other venues where person-to-person interaction is necessary. Hopefully, some of these fields will return to normal very soon, but some will likely struggle for some time to come.
Southeast Texas, in particular, felt a significant hit from the pandemic and the government LED shutdowns early on this past spring. Not only did we suffer along with the rest of the nation in terms of our job losses, but the oi,l, and gas industry were hit eswasally hard as fewer and fewer people needed energy to the ravel, drive and perform the ordinary functions that Americans had done to that point. All of the oil that was being pumped was stored in various locations, and it became worrisome when the oil and gas producers were running out of space to keep their keep. As a fault, production slowed way down, and our economy felt the hit in particular.
That takes us to the portion of today’s blog post where we’re going to discuss what happened if you lost your job at the beginning of this pandemic and have either been unable to find a new job or are working in a field where you are being paid less money. To begin, just because you lose your job does not mean you get an automatic stay for your child support responsibilities. The fact of the matter is that your obligation to pay child support does not depend upon whether or not you have a job. You will be expected to pay child support no matter your employment status, and you can expect to be held responsible if you fail to pay.
Deliver means that if you lose your job or have lost your job due to a pandemic or any other reason, you should take steps to protect yourself and your children. For one, you should be upfront with your co-parent about your loss of income. Please do not wait until the last minute to talk to them, and do not wait until they miss a child support payment at the beginning of a month to talk about your job loss. Instead, once you lose your job, you should make them aware of your circumstances to develop a plan together.
Yes, you may find that they are unwilling to work with you and help you mitigate your losses during these months when you’re trying to find work. However, most reasonable parents will understand where you are coming from especially given the pandemic circumstances. Given this, you should make plans to pay as much as you can monthly until you get back on your feet financially. Remember, you are not only trying to keep yourself out of the courthouse, but you are also trying to make sure that your children have the resources they need to succeed and thrive.
Working out an informal agreement on how to deal with circumstances like these with your co-parent is the place to begin. A little honesty and the ability to work with them can go a long way towards avoiding having an enforcement lawsuit filed against you when you cannot pay child support as ordered. It would help if you began to keep track of how much child support you have paid and how much you owe by going online to the attorney general’s website and checking your ledger. This way, you will not be surprised to learn how much you owe when you can get back on your feet and landed a job that pays you enough to afford child support.
On the other hand, if you have not lost your job but are concerned about the reality of job loss during this pandemic, you should begin to set aside some money for a rainy day. Having some money in the bank could be what separates you from a tricky legal situation and a mere inconvenience as you begin to look for alternative sources of income. I realize that not everyone will save as much money as they would like right now, but any little big can help.
What to do if an enforcement lawsuit is filed against you?
If worse comes to worst and a child support enforcement lawsuit is filed against you, then you should not become despondent and lose hope in the situation. An enforcement lawsuit in the world of family law seeks to enforce the terms of a child support order by notifying the court of your failure to pay child support, the dates on which consent was missed in the total amount owed by you. The enforcement lawsuit will then ask for some remedy for having a payment plan worked out where you will have to pay back the Child Support or even requesting jail time in extreme situations.
In general, it is unlikely that jail will be assessed against you if you have lost your job due to the coronavirus pandemic and cannot pay your child support. Jail time is usually only consider evaluated only circumstances where multiple instances of missed payments have occurred. With that said, if a judge were to rule against you in an enforcement lawsuit, you may be in line to have to pay court costs, attorneys fees, and child support on top of all that. As such, it is in your best interest to work with your co-parent to avoid the necessity of going to court to hold you responsible for your failure to pay child support.
It is understandable to have experienced job loss during this pandemic. Millions of Americans will join you in voicing their frustration with how things have gone for many of us in 2020. However, the loss of a job does not mean you have to get into a bad situation regarding child support payments. There are options available to you to make sure that you are able two pay what you can now and get back on track once your income returns to normal.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of family law and the services provided to our clients by our attorneys and staff.