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How unemployment can impact a child support order

If a noncustodial parent in Arizona loses their job, that doesn't absolve them of making child support payments. Instead, it is a good idea to seek unemployment benefits and have the support amount deducted from each check. If it is not possible to obtain unemployment benefits, the best option is to work with the other parent and the family court.

The noncustodial parent will likely be asked to verify that he or she is looking for work or making other good faith efforts to secure an income. In some cases, payments may be postponed during a period of unemployment. However, the past due amount can be rolled into payments made after a parent finds a new job. It is likely that the parent will lose their health insurance when they lose their job. Therefore, noncustodial parents should work to make sure that their children have health insurance during any period of unemployment.

A parent could decide to enroll a child into a government health care program. It may also be possible to ask the custodial parent to provide insurance until the noncustodial parent finds a new job that offers health coverage. While unemployed, the noncustodial parent could choose to make COBRA payments to retain their current coverage while between jobs.

If a parent fails to make child support payments or otherwise provide for a child as ordered, they could face jail time or other negative consequences. However, it may be possible to ask for a modification to an existing support order. This could reduce payments either temporarily while a parent is unemployed or on a permanent basis. An attorney could provide insight into how a noncustodial parent can meet their obligations while not working.

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