I Don’t Have a Job, Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support?
Before discussing the question of you not having a job in NC and whether you will still have to still pay child support, we must inform you that our organization is not a law firm and nothing about this article should be taken as legal advise. If you have questions about child support and employment, or job assistance, then we suggest contacting a lawyer in your county and the employment security commission. The short answer to your question is yes, you do still have to pay child support even if you cannot find a job in North Carolina. And, as a non-custodial parent, no you do not have access to the many social services programs to help with food, job assistance, daycare, medical help, and housing like custodial parents receive to make ends meet. If you do not have a job and are ordered to pay child support, your only option is jail if you cannot pay child support. You do have the option to go to court and have your child support re-calculated based upon the fact that you lost your job, but that is very costly. Of course, custodial parents get free child support enforcement lawyers to do their job of making sure that you are paying as much child support as possible whether you have a job or not. If you are one of the lucky ones who can afford to spend $5000+ with an attorney to handle your child support matter, then it is POSSIBLE a Judge will re-calculate your child support obligation on the federal minimum wage figure, but that is no guarantee because they have discretion to do anything they want. In short, you will never be ordered to pay NO child support, at the very minimum you will pay child support based on minimum wage even if you have no job or income. And no, you will not be given equal custody and time with your children so that you can offset your child support payment through directly supporting your children. In NC, the name of the game is to socialize non-custodial parents into the role of payment providers and visitors to their children, not equal parents with equal access to their kids and social services help.
If the custodial parent does not have a job, then her child support will also be based on the federal minimum wage figure but it is important to remember that if she has no job, then she is likely getting very significant social services benefits that makes life pretty secure. There is no concern for going to jail, being called deadbeat, or losing her children. On the other side of this coin, this is very much a real possibility for you.
One option you do have if you do have a job and are still having a hard time in paying child support is to get a second job, but with two jobs, it is hard to spend time with you children then isn’t it? By not being able to spend time with your child because of your child support obligation, you will likely then be called a deadbeat parent because you are not seeing them regularly. But then again, your going to be called a deadbeat parent if you can’t pay child support.
It sure would be nice for the court and social services agencies to find a way to equalize the system to where both parents could get help so that they can be the best parents possible who are able to support their children and spend valuable time with them instead of the State of NC making this an option for one parent only.
Not Having A Job And Still Having To Pay Child Support Is A Real Problem For Seasonal Workers And During A Bad Economy
If your community is like where we live in North Carolina, it is largely considered a tourism dependent state especially along our sprawling coast and mountainous regions where very little industry exists. In the winter months and summer months, depending where you live, employers can lay people off for up to 6 months at a time. The problem with then not having a job and having child support payments is that there exists nothing in the enforcement system that takes this into account. The only thing they care about is you paying child support so they can get Title IV-D money and justify their jobs. If you can’t find another job, then you go to jail. It’s that simple. Of course things are not so bleak on the custodial side of this issue. If a custodial parent loses their job, then there is ample and significant social services programs to make sure they stay stable. Another thing that bothers me about this system is that there are agencies who love to gather statistics on non-custodial parents, mostly fathers, who have an interest in making sure dads are cast in the worst light possible. When a dad does not pay child support, or most likely UNABLE to pay child support, it gets tallied in statistics as “men are bad, they WON’T pay child support” that then gets used in public policies to make a very biased family court system.
Another are that gets overlooked in this system is during times where the economy is very bad and many people do not have jobs but are still expected to either maintain multiple jobs and never see their children, or go to jail. Again, custodial parents do not have to worry about this because the system is built around taking care of them.
Are you without a job right now and expected to pay child support? If so, we would like to see you use the comment system below to tell us about your experiences. Additionally, please share this article with others on the many social networking sites for those that may be experiences a loss of a job but is also obligated to pay child support.
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