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I just lost my job. Can I get an abatement on my child support duties?

If the loss of your job has severely lowered your income-earning abilities, you may be able to get a downward modification of your child support award duties. You cannot do this "ex parte," however. "Ex parte" means on your own, at your own volition, or without telling anyone. In other words, you canít just stop paying child support. Notify the court of the changed circumstances and apply for a modification. It would be a rare case, however, that your child support obligation would disappear entirely. As noted above, most states provide a statutory minimum for child support.

You must make reasonable and good faith efforts to get another job, or you will face the possibility of having income imputed to you.

For example: attempting to apply for a modification the day after you lost your job would not show the court that a legitimate effort to regain employment was made.