How will her unemployment affect custody and child support?

Question:divorce lawyer Erin Clark

How does unemployment affect child support laws and child custody laws?

I am currently going through a divorce, and my wife refuses to work. How will her voluntary unemployment affect child custody and child support?


While I am not licensed in your state, I can provide some general information concerning the divorce process.

Depending on the specific facts of your case, a court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

If the non-custodial parent is unemployed, a judge will likely look at that party’s previous income tax returns and pay stubs, as well as question the party as to why she is not working. If she is able to work, the judge may order her to attempt to find gainful employment.

As far as custody goes, the judge will always look at what is in the best interest of the child(ren). Most courts like to keep both parents in the kids’ lives, which is called joint managing conservatorship.

However, if the judge reviews her finances and determines that she cannot support her children, it may negatively affect her visitation and/or possession of the children.

I recommend seeking further legal advice as the information provided is only general in nature. Cordell & Cordell has attorneys licensed and located nationwide who can provide a more in-depth analysis of your current situation.

To schedule an appointment with Erin E. Clark, an Associate Attorney in the Fort Worth, Texas office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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