This is the next post in my series on Peoria, Illinois cases which involve unpaid child support. My last article discussed the contempt process which dad’s can face due to missed payments. It is important to understand that you may be found in contempt of court, that you may face incarceration, and that you will continue to owe the arrears even after being released from jail. By contacting an attorney immediately you can improve your chances of alleviating such problems. In this article I will discuss another important topic – why fathers should immediately file to modify support after losing their job. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights lawyer.
It is important to understand that your obligation to follow the Court’s child support order remains in place after you are fired or laid off. This means that you remain obligated to pay your current monthly amount even if you no longer have the income to do so. This requirement will remain in place until the Court’s order is changed. You will face the contempt process which I discussed in my last article if you fail to make your court ordered payment and simply allow the arrears to accrue. In order to avoid this outcome it is important to file for a child support modification as soon as possible.
If a dad has lost their job then the first step should be to file a Motion to Modify Child Support with the Court. This a written request which will state the father’s new income level and the amount at which he is requesting support to be set. One will have to include proof of their current income and financial condition along with the Motion. The opposing party will have the opportunity to file an Opposition and a hearing date will be set. The Court will schedule a hearing and, typically, the matter will be resolved at the first hearing. Courts will often make a change in support retroactive to the time that the Motion was filed.
If you have lost your job then it is important that you begin seeking new employment immediately. If you request a reduction to your child support, but are not actively looking for work, then the Court may find that you are “underemployed.” When an individual is not earning an amount commensurate with their skill level, and does not appear to be attempting to do so, then the Court has discretion to order the parent to pay an amount of child support proportionate to what they could earn. You help to prove that you are not intentionally underemployed when you begin an immediate job search. An active effort to gain employment will often support an argument that a father is not underemployed.
If you are a father who has lost his job then contact my office to speak with a Peoria lawyer. My office can assist with filing a Motion to Modify Child Support and with other family law related issues you may be facing. We are ready to assist you. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.