– from Larry F. in Oak Creek, WI
In the event that I am laid off at work how do I handle this with regards to child support? I haven’t been laid off yet, but there are rumors going around the office that layoffs are coming. I just want to be as proactive as possible to protect myself. Is it possible I could lose visitation rights if I can’t make payment?
Family Law Attorney Response:
Your visitation right is not dependent upon your child support payments. So rest assured, a layoff would not take away visitation rights.
In the unfortunate event that you would be laid off, the first thing you will want to do is modify or reduce your child support obligation. Since a layoff qualifies as an involuntary reduction in income you should qualify for reduction in payments. Unfortunately, the court doesn’t have the authority to reduce your payment obligation retroactively beyond the date you file the petition for a reduction in payment. You should also seek an early hearing on your petition because you are obligated to pay your current child support payments until the court orders the reduced payment. For this reason, it is best to consult a family attorney about this right away while you still have the income. “
Jeff Hughes, J.D.