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My question is regard child support in California.

San Jose, CA |

I have four young school children and my ex is paying child support. I am currently unemployed and looking for a job. My ex he says he doesn't want to work and wants to have full custody of children. He threatened me with the idea that he is not going to work anymore . Without his support I can't pay expenses like rent, groceries, gas etc. If we go to court what will the judge say? Am I going to lose my custody of my children? If he quite his job and doesn't want to pay support will he get full custody? I don't have family member here too to help me as well

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Attorney answers 3


Having a job and/or money is not relevant to custody orders. Many poor people get to raise their children. So you won't lose your children if you can't afford a good home for them (although it will certainly be hard to provide for them like that).

In short, if your ex quits his job, this will not give him any advantage in a custody dispute.

Your ex and you *both* have an obligation to support your children. That means that if he quits his job then the court can actually find that he has the *ability to earn* and it may order him to pay support based upon what he used to earn before he quit.

If you have no one, have you considered going to either the Dept. of Family and Children's Services for financial assistance, or to the Dept. of Child Support for help in enforcing the support order?

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I agree with Counsel's assessment.

I would add that if you have any records (letters, texts, etc) showing his statements to you that he was threatening you with not working that those would go a long way to showing the court what kind of man/father he would be if the court gave him more custody/visitation than he already has. Parents are supposed to provide for their children and outright refusing to work is the display of a horrible character trait that the court will certainly consider in support/custody evaluations.

This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges


If you have been historically doing all the parenting and raising the children, the court is not going to change physical custody based on the fact that your ex quits his job. If the kids are fine, healthy, doing well in school and you are taking good care of them, then there is no basis or substantial reason to change the physical custody arrangement. The court should hold him accountable for his earning ability, and child support should be calculated on that amount.

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