What Happens to My Child Support if My Former Spouse Stops Working?

Many parents in Georgia depend on their child support payments to take care of their children. But what happens if these child support payments suddenly dry up? What if your former spouse decides to stop working all of a sudden, and they no longer have the income to actually provide you with these payments? This can be a difficult situation for many parents, and it makes sense to understand the legal process that surrounds this scenario. 

Of course, understanding this situation is much easier when you enlist the help of a qualified, experienced family law attorney in Georgia. Our legal professionals can explain things in a clear, concise manner. We can also help you move forward and take legal action in an effective way. 

Your Former Spouse Must Have the Child Support Order Modified

If your spouse wants to stop paying child support, they must modify the existing court order before they stop making payments. No spouse can simply cease payments out of the blue. There is a specific legal process that must take place before anything is changed about the existing child support agreement. 

If a spouse decides to stop working, they may try to modify their child support payments. These payments can only be modified successfully if there is a significant change in circumstances. Changes in a spouse’s employment situation may be classified as a significant change. 

However, it might not be easy for a spouse to have their child support payments modified if they decide to simply stop working without any real reason. If a judge believes that a spouse is fully capable of working and simply does not want to, they may order them to continue to make these child support payments regardless of their employment situation. 

What if My Spouse Stops Working Before the Divorce?

In order to avoid paying child support, many parents decide to stop working before the divorce is finalized. They may believe that if they approach the divorce without being employed, they will not be required to pay child support. However, the judge may impute the spouse’s income regardless of whether they are working. When a judge imputes income, they take into account the earning potential of a spouse rather than their actual income. This theoretical number is then used to calculate their child support payments. 


If your spouse stops working for a legitimate reason, things may be more difficult. For example, they may choose to retire after having worked for many decades. Perhaps a serious injury or ailment has made it impossible for them to continue working. In situations like these, a judge is more likely to modify the child support payments to make them easier to handle for retired spouses. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Georgia area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. We have dealt with many divorces over the years, and we are more than familiar with issues related to child support. We understand that the prospect of losing your child support payments can be worrying, but you can proceed in a confident manner with our help. Reach out and book your consultation today.

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Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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