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How unemployment might affect child support payments

A parent in Arizona who loses a job is not automatically allowed to pay less in child support. If the parent is eligible for unemployment, the unemployment office needs to be notified about the child support order. Child support payments will then be deducted from the unemployment benefits.

Some parents who become unemployed might not be eligible for unemployment benefits. In this case, the parent should not simply ignore the child support order while looking for a new job. Instead, the parent should keep communication open with the custodial parent and the family law court. The parent may need to ask for a modification in child support based on a change in circumstances. If the parent's child support payments are not lowered by a court during this time, the parent might need to pay extra after finding a job to make up missed payments.

Another issue that may arise is the child's medical insurance. Providing this health insurance may be the responsibility of the parent who pays child support, but a parent who loses a job might also lose health insurance. Again, this is a case in which the parents may want to try working together. For example, the custodial parent might be able to add the child to an insurance plan.

If a parent is simply not paying child support in a regular, responsible manner, there are channels the other parent can go through to collect that support. A parent is not permitted to block the other parent's access to the child even if that parent has stopped paying support. Parents who are struggling to pay or collect support might want to talk to an attorney about what steps can be taken. For example, the wages of an employed parent who is not paying support might be garnished.

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