If I Have Full Child Custody Will I Pay Support to Unemployed Spouse?

Before we are able to answer the question presented in the title, it is important to first understand the purpose of child support. It is intended to assist the parent who has custody, which is the parent with whom the child lives with primarily, with expenses and bills related to raising the child. If the parent who has full custody of the child, that particular parent will not be required to pay support to an unemployed ex-spouse. In fact, the unemployed spouse may be responsible to pay child support to the custodial parent.

Of course, unemployment may be grounds to suspend or lower payments, although the circumstances may vary by which a judge grants a temporary suspension or reduction in payment for an unemployed non-custodial parent. The payment amount varies on a case by case basis as well with various factors often considered when calculating monthly payments. These may include income of both parents, available income tax deductions, mandatory payroll deductions and child care costs incurred by either parent. Considering these and possibly other factors, payment may vary.

Payments may change, though, if the percentage of time that each parent spends with the child changes. For instance, if one parent has 100% custody and that changes to 70% with the other parent spending 30% of the time with the child, child support may change to reflect the change in circumstances, lowering the payments by the non-custodial parent. If the custodial-parent becomes the non-custodial parent and vice versa, the new custodial parent will then receive support from the new non-custodial parent.

As far as spousal support is concerned, however, whether one party pays alimony to the other party may depend on the settlement agreement that was signed during the divorce. This is something that should be hammered out and understood during the divorce process. Alimony may be temporary suspended or reduced if the party making payments is unemployed.

If you find yourself unemployed and unable to make payments, it is important to seek a temporary adjustment right away to avoid problems that may arise with failure to make payments on time or in the full ordered amount.