Do You Get Child Support if Parent is in Jail?
Child support orders can be modified for major life changes. One parent going to jail or prison is certainly a qualifying event.
Will the incarcerated parent still be responsible for paying child support? Will they be exempt from paying while they’re away? This can be a stressful situation. After all, your child will still have needs, and you want to make sure they get the support they deserve.
Nothing about the child support order will change until a judge formally modifies it. The order will not automatically pause or change when a parent goes to jail.
Instead, the incarcerated parent would have to make a formal request for reduced payments.
The judge will consider any assets that the incarcerated parent has that they may be able to use to meet their financial obligation.
- Stocks or bonds
- Rental income
- Disability payments
- Retirement savings
If there is value in any of these assets, the judge will likely uphold the child support order and require the incarcerated parent to pay the full amount.
Enforcing Child Support Orders
If a judge did not modify the child support orders, the incarcerated parent is still responsible for their payments as they were initially established. If you are currently struggling to get your child’s other parent to meet their obligations while incarcerated, you can file a contempt action.
Once you file a contempt action, it is up to the incarcerated parent to prove to the judge that they have no way of paying the child support. Based on this proof, the judge may choose to move forward with modifying the order.
A Family Lawyer Can Help
Setting up and enforcing a child support order is a complicated task, and it becomes even more complex when one parent is incarcerated. A family lawyer can help you seek fair child support payments, or modify an existing order. At Reagan, Melton & Delaney, L.L.P., we are focused on the best interests of your child.