Florida residents who are required to pay child support should be aware that the obligation to make payments does not stop if they unexpectedly become unemployed. However, there are several ways a recently unemployed payee could lessen the financial impact of such a situation.

The noncustodial parent should contact the necessary state agencies as soon as possible to determine if they qualify for unemployment benefits. If they are deemed eligible for the benefits, they should inform the unemployment officer about their existing child support orders. The child support payments will then be deducted from the parent’s unemployment benefits.

For those who do not qualify for unemployment benefits, it’s important to work with the other parent and family court to address the issue while they are unemployed. Maintaining records that verify they are seeking employment is important. When the unemployed parent does find work, they should submit their child support payments in the form of a check until their new employer begins to deduct the payments directly from their wages. They should also be prepared to pay slightly more in child support in order to make up for the payments not paid during their time of unemployment.

The majority of child support orders require that the noncustodial parent who has to pay child support also has to ensure that their child has health insurance. If this parent is unable to afford the cost of COBRA health insurance during their unemployment, they should consult with the custodial parent about using a federally-funded health plan for the child.

An attorney may help a client resolve disputes regarding child support payments. Litigation may be used to pursue delinquent payments or request modifications to an existing child support order.