When a noncustodial parent loses his or her job, it doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t responsible for providing for his or her child. Instead, it means work with the custodial parent and the family court to create a solution that serves the best interest of the child. Family courts in California and other states may monitor the progress that the unemployed parent is making finding a new job.
It is also a good idea for unemployed parents to see if they are eligible for unemployment benefits. If they are, child support payments can be deducted directly from any benefit check the noncustodial parent receives. Those who aren’t able to get benefits may be able to postpone their child support obligations while looking for a job. However, once new employment is found, a parent is generally required to make up for back support owed.
Noncustodial parents are often required to provide health insurance for their children. This can be difficult after losing a job as health care benefits may be tied to a person’s employment. Custodial parents could try to include their children in their own health care plan or enroll the child in a federal program. Noncustodial parents can also make COBRA payments to retain their health care while looking for a new job.
In many ways, child support payments can be thought of as family support payments. By providing for a child, it makes it easier for the other parent to feed, clothe and otherwise meet a son or daughter’s basic needs. Even if a noncustodial parent is unemployed, it is his or her best interest to continue providing for the child. An attorney may be able to help a parent figure out how to do so during a period of financial hardship.