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What happens if you loose your job and are unable to pay child support? Can you be put in jail?

Bronx, NY |

I lost my job 3 months ago I informed the court but no change in my monthly payments. I'm confused to what's going on I hired a lawyer and they filed a motion to amend and lower my payments because of this but the new court date is another 3 months away. That will make me 6 months behind in payments does that put me in danger of jail or suspension of driving privileges? I'm also moving out of state in 30 days will that be a issue as well for the court if I move out of the state from the case? Will I have to worry about a bench warrant being issued for none payment even though my court date is 3 months away? Please help this is stressing me and my wife out because no one seems to give us a straight answer.
Just to let you know from day 1 I have paid on time and in full.

Attorney Answers 3


There is always the possibility one can be jailed on a finding that one willfully violated an order of support. At your trial, you must prove: (1) you lost your job through no fault of your own, and (2) you've made diligent efforts to find new work commensurate with your prior job. You will not generally be successful proving either element with just your say-so. You need documents showing you were laid-off, and you need to produce a job search diary recording 30-40 efforts to find work every week. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Bronx Child Support lawyer.

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Thank U so much that was what my lawyer said worst case scenario.


Your lawyer is in the best position to advise you because he/she knows your case best.
A Judge can incarcerate someone for not paying child support. I suggest you try hard to find a new job and document your efforts to show the court.

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My lawyers says no because it is documented but I'm asking to get another point of view generally speaking. Your reply doesn't answer my question at all but thanks.


This requires a detailed discussion but you ask too many questions.

The Fed supplies the states with welfare money and the states must show child support enforcement. You are being enforced. Losing a job will not lower your payments but you can ask the mother to consent to take lower payments - an unconstitutional delegation of a court's power to a litigant.

You cannot be jailed without a petition from mom filed and served. You can defend by bringing in boxes of documents that show your heroic job search efforts but the state is not going to diminish its federal stream of welfare funding for you. So in any child support scenario, the court participates as a member of the state preserving the state's position in the transaction. Simplified procedures facilitate all this.

Are you in trouble? Sure. Are there ways out? Sure. Get your kid back.

Good luck.

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