I recently got laid off and struggling to make ends meet while keeping my ex-wife and kids on health insurance through COBRA, child support and alimony, and my own expenses. How does MA courts view these circumstances? Can the court ordered support be modified while I am temporarily unemployed?
What happens to your obligations during a time of unemployment really depends on what your divorce agreement says. Child support is always modifiable and certainly would be temporarily reduced during a period of unemployment. The opportunity to mediate this issue would certainly make a lot of sense by providing you and your ex-spouse with some certainty and a much more speedy resolution. Health insurance and alimony could possibly be addressed, but the language in the agreement would control. Depending on what had been specified in the agreement, alimony can either be modifiable or permanent. Mediation would provide the forum for a calm and reasoned approach to dealing with these changed circumstances.