When Job Loss Impacts Your Rights and Obligations in Divorce
In years past, people who were going through divorces did not need to consider how the economy affected divorce-related issues. However, today, people who fail to contemplate current market and economic issues may suffer significant consequences.
Many times, our clients come to us at a loss for what to do. In a sense they are frozen by the emotional trauma of divorce. However, with over 20 years of family law experience, we know the issues in divorce. We help our clients address critical issues in their divorce negotiations, including planning for unexpected issues — like losing a job or having your hours (and thus your income) cut.
Spousal Support and Alimony Modifications Are Possible
Job loss can put undeniable and significant financial strain on someone making regular spousal support payments. Sometimes, unfortunately, spousal support cannot be modified. If the spousal support was ordered by the court, it can be modified if there is a material change in circumstance.
However, if spousal support was determined in an agreement, it can only be modified if there was a clause in the agreement that indicates future modifications are allowed. If the agreement does not indicate that it can be modified, the court cannot change it — even if one party suffers job loss, illness or disability.
Therefore, if you are in the process of drafting a divorce settlement agreement, it is essential that you have a divorce lawyer who will protect your rights and interests by addressing such important issues.
Child Support Modifications Are Also Able to Be Modified
Every child has a right to be supported by both parents. Parents do not have a right to contract away child support obligations as they may do with spousal support payments. Therefore, by statute, child support is always modifiable. If there has been a material change in circumstances, such as a job loss, child support obligations can be modified.
Contact Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC for Help
For assistance pursuing a reduction in spousal support or child support payments after a job loss, talk with the experienced family law attorneys at our firm. In addition, if you are filing for divorce and want to make sure you are fully protected in the future, we can help. Contact our Fairfax law firm for a comprehensive initial consultation with an attorney.