San Jose Divorce Attorney Discusses Poor Economy Affects Child Support
As unemployment rises, more and more people are falling behind on their child support. Child support orders, at least in California, do not automatically reset to 0 when someone loses their job. The payor needs to seek a modification of support in order to avoid falling behind on payments.
A payor who does not seek modification is not only accumulating arrears, but could potentially be in contempt of court for non-payment. Arrears accrue interest at the legal rate of 10%, and the more you owe, the worse the interest. Additionally, the local child support agency or the other parent could seek to have you held in contempt, a potentially criminal proceeding that can result in jail time for non-payment.
To find someone in contempt in California, the party seeking the citation must show that the contemnor had knowledge of the order, willfully chose not to obey the order, and had the ability to comply with the order. For parties not paying because of strapped finances, the 3rd prong is the hardest to prove. If you are receiving unemployment, chances are your unemployment benefits will be garnished showing you are trying to pay, which helps with prong 2.
If you are having trouble meeting a child support order, you should seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney. Even if you have not lost your job, there may be other circumstances justifying a modification – additional children, changed income, or changed timeshare.
Here at Sagaria Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including divorce, paternity, adoption, child custody and visitation matters, child support, spousal support, alimony, juvenile dependency, domestic violence, division of property, grandparent visitation and custody, etc. We have seven Northern California locations including San Jose, San Francisco, Redwood City, Fremont, Salinas, Roseville and Sacramento. We offer a free thirty minute consultation, either in person at any of our offices, or over the phone. Call our offices today and we can connect you with an attorney immediately or we can schedule your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys: (408) 279-2288 or (800) 941-6730 or visit www.sagarialaw.com