Do You Have to Pay Child Support if You Have No IncomeGoing through a divorce is difficult at any point in your life. However, if you have children, the situation can be much more complex. When filing for divorce and working everything out, you and your spouse will have to determine who will pay child support and the amount the monthly obligation will be.

However, many people wonder what will happen if they don’t have any income and are unable to pay child support? Are you still going to be required to make the monthly payment? In most cases, the short answer is “yes.” Some factors must be considered to determine this.

The Child Support Determination Process

The amount of child support you (or your spouse) must pay is determined by a number factors. This includes how much each parent earns from several sources, including Social Security benefits, bonuses, commissions, wages, salary, interest and more. If one parent doesn’t have a source of income, the court may determine income based on their prior work history or the parents current (potential) earning capacity.

For example, if one parent is having career issues and is not currently employed, the court may look at previous employment to see how much they usually earn and may make again in the future. To put it simply, the obligation will be partially based on each person’s opportunity and ability to find work, either in or out of your chosen profession.

Avoiding Child Support

There are some situations where one parent may try to avoid paying child support by purposefully choosing to remain unemployed. This is not something that is taken lightly in court, and the amount they must pay will be determined by the imputed income. The decision made by the court will always be to ensure the best interests of the child are met.

What if You are Unable to Afford the Child Support Payments?

If you are unable to pay the amount of child support ordered by the court, don’t just not make them or change the arrangement informally with your spouse. If you fail to make payments on time, it means that you are going to accrue an arrearage. This gives your former spouse the right to file an action for contempt. In the long run, this will cost you even more regarding litigation costs and court fees. If you make an informal agreement, it means you still are not fulfilling the obligations to pay child support set by the court. If you are unable to make the payments, you need to speak with a child custody attorney to know what your options are.

The Help of an Attorney is Invaluable

Child support issues are often complex. This is why it is so important to retain the services of quality legal counsel. They can review the situation and let you know what options you have. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the attorneys at The Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. by calling 305-459-1602.