Can I Be Forced to Pay Child Support If I Don’t Have a Job?

When you have children with someone, the child support laws that are in place in your state expect you to pay your fair share of what it takes to raise the kids while they’re living with their other parents.

However, what happens if you don’t have a job or any way to make money? Is child support still something that I have to pay? The answer depends on where you live and on some important factors regarding your unique circumstances.

As a child support lawyer, one of the most common questions lawyers get asked by parents who are going through a divorce or separation is if they can be forced to pay child support even if they don’t have a job at the time.

The short answer to this question is yes, you could be forced to pay child support if you don’t have a job and it could be difficult to get your ex-spouse off your back once he or she knows you don’t have an income coming in.

A lot of people think that if they don’t have a job, they can’t be force to pay child support. While it’s true that you will probably be taken off the child support payment schedule. You can still be called to court and held in contempt of court if you refuse to pay the support your ex request in your custody agreement or divorce decree.

You can also be held in contempt and jail if you don’t pay support and have no valid reason why you can’t do so. Read this article to learn more about can I be forced to pay child support if I don’t have a job.

What is Child Support?

Child support is money that one parent pays to another for supporting his or her child. The parent responsible for providing financial support for their child is called the obligor while the other parent who receives child support is called the oblige. This money can be paid in full or partially towards daycare costs, medical expenses, schooling, etc.

Child support may also cover spousal maintenance which would be ordered under separate circumstances. Just because one party receives alimony doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not entitled to receive child support from their ex as well.

In fact, child support lawyers consider these two forms of payments interchangeable as long as it doesn’t exceed what would normally be awarded through a standard payment plan.


How Do Courts Calculate Child Support Payments?

Child support law is complex, with numerous factors influencing judges’ decisions. Generally, courts and child support lawyers will take into account both parents’ incomes and order one parent to pay for part of their children’s living expenses, which can include housing, food, clothing and daycare.

Courts will also look at other expenses incurred by parents such as health insurance and college tuition payments. This all has to be taken into account when calculating child support payments.

 For example, if both parents earn $50,000 per year but one parent has childcare costs of $5,000 per year, that parent would receive a break on his or her child support obligations.


When Are Child Support Payments Contempt of Court?

You can be held in contempt of court for failing to pay child support if it is established that you have willfully failed to pay. Willfully means that you knowingly and intentionally didn’t pay, and not that you simply forgot or overlooked a payment.

Contempt charges could be filed against you even if your income isn’t high enough to warrant payments under your state’s guidelines. In fact, some child support lawyers allow courts to require obligors who make very little money (or no money at all) under state guidelines (for example, $1,000 per month) to pay support for children or disable dependents. You can also be found in contempt if it is shown that your failure was actually purposeful.

Will I be Prosecuted if I Refuse to Pay Child Support?

Child support is one of those things people often feel like they can ignore if they don’t have a steady job. But will you actually be arrested and thrown in jail if you refuse to pay child support? The short answer is no.

 You cannot be forced into prison just because you didn’t pay child support, but that doesn’t mean that penalties aren’t at play. When someone refuses to pay child support, their case ends up in civil court rather than criminal court. Hire a child support lawyer to get legal help for a case.

Can I Get Custody or Visitation Rights if I Don’t Pay Child Support?

Even if you don’t have legal custody or visitation rights, you may still be required to pay child support. The question is what happens when you don’t pay it.

Can creditors garnish your wages if you refuse to pay child support? They certainly can, but there are some limits on how much they can take and whether or not they can take unemployment benefits.


Hope this article helps you if you are forced to pay child support if you don’t have a job. Child support lawyer can help you to get legal help.

Nicki Jenns

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