What Happens To Child Support if the Non-Custodial Parent is Unemployed?

Underemployed and unemployed individuals are usually directed to pay out child support based on their individual earning capacity. Sometimes, one parent will believe that the non-custodial parent is avoiding employment so that he or she doesn’t have to pay child support. More often than not in New York, the courts will calculate the non-custodial parent’s child support based on the earning capacity that the individual has, regardless of whether or not he or she presently has that employment matching his earning capacity.

Even in cases where a non-custodial parent has hit hard times and is earning less money, that parent must make efforts to obtain their former level of employment. If the non-custodial parent is no longer able to work as a result of an injury that has left him or her disabled, testimony can be required to determine the true impact of this disability and to what extent it influences a person’s ability to earn income. A Stony Brook child support lawyer can help to provide insight on the specifics of child support awards and the modification process.

Child support can be a very emotional aspect of a New York divorce case. It’s important that each parent be aware of the rights and responsibilities linked to their role and be diligent in keeping up with any required payments. There can be negative consequences associated with refusing to pay child support.

If the non-custodial parent is employed, he or she should not expect to be totally free of a child support obligation without some extenuating circumstances. Since the court can base child support on a non-custodial parent’s earning capacity, he or she may still be responsible for making payments at that earning capacity, regardless of whether or not they are earning.