There is never an automatic reduction or termination of a child support obligation because of a loss in income. REPEAT: There is never EVER an automatic reduction or termination of a child support obligation because of a loss in income.
If you lose your job, your hours are cut or for some other reason you are getting paid less, and you don’t take affirmative steps to have your child support adjusted, it stays the same and the arrears (back child support) start adding themselves up.
Therefore, when a loss in income occurs (a legitimate, involuntary loss) or you know it’s coming (a planned lay-off) then the first step should be talking to the Recipient parent about agreeing to temporarily reduce support in accordance with what the unemployment income will be. If the Recipient parent agrees, then a Joint Petition for Modification of Child Support must be filed with the court. Both parties sign it and both parties must submit financial statements and a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet along with the petition. If these are filed correctly, there will be no need to even step foot inside a courtroom. If the Recipient parent is reluctant to change support, suggest mediation or discussing it with an attorney because having an agreement is first and foremost the easiest and least painful route for everyone.
If the Recipient parent will not agree to any changes, then a Complaint for Modification will need to be filed. Not only does this complaint need to be filed, but once the other party is served, a Motion for Temporary Orders should be filed. This motion asks the court to lower support temporarily while the case in pending because you are unemployed or have lost income for some reason.
Of the utmost importance is not to let time pass without taking action. Talk to the other parent as soon as you know this is happening and start working on how to handle it as soon as possible.