Loss of Employment and Modification of Family Law Support Obligations

Recently news has reported of massive layoffs impacting Santa Clara County workers. Those employed at Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel and others are finding themselves out of work while companies struggle to improve their bottom line and cut costs. Loss of employment can be a stressful time for anyone, but especially those who pay child support or spousal support based upon an income they will no longer be receiving.

Layoffs have a profound impact on Family Law as a party’s loss of employment (and income) results in a substantial change of circumstance justifying a modification of an existing child or spousal support /alimony order. If either you or your ex-spouse are impacted by a layoff, you will want to obtain guidance from a family law attorney right away. The attorneys at Mello & Pickering are a team of experienced San Jose family law attorneys who have the knowledge and skill to help guide you following a layoff. We are committed to protecting your rights, whether you are currently obligated to pay child or spousal support or whether you are the recipient of that support.

After news of a layoff, it is important to know the value of any severance package that might be offered to you as well as your rights to receive ongoing health insurance benefits through COBRA. If the layoff will result in a reduction in income, those who are ordered to pay child or spousal support will want to file a motion to modify those orders right away. Waiting to file will result in a loss of your right to modify support retroactively and could result in you having to continue to meet your spousal or child support obligations as they are currently ordered despite your loss in income. (Cal. Fam. Code §3653 makes clear that an order modifying or terminating a support order may be made retroactive to the date of the filing of the notice of motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate, or to any subsequent date.) An experienced family law attorney will be able to help walk you through the necessary paperwork, as well as help you calculate the new amount of support you can expect to pay based on the change in your income. If you are the recipient of child or spousal support and are served with a motion to modify support from the paying party, you need to understand how the other party’s severance package may allow you to continue to receive support and health insurance benefits despite the layoff. It is important for both parties to know that regardless of whether a motion to modify support has been filed, until there are new Court orders set in place, the current support orders must be followed.

Mello & Pickering, LLP are experienced litigators in Santa Clara County with extensive experience in family law and particularly in motions to modify child and spousal support. If you find yourself impacted by a layoff, please do not postpone getting legal advice. Mello & Pickering, LLP offers a discounted 30-minute initial phone consultation and can answer questions you might have. Please call (408) 288-7800 or email mpllp@sjfamilylaw.com to schedule your consultation.

Client Reviews

Thank you all for the exceptional personal service. I have the utmost gratitude for everything that you do.


Thank you, you've been fantastic through the entire process. Would definitely refer you to others.


THANK YOU!!!!! You made my divorce very easy.


You were very well-spoken, well-prepared, and amazing thinking on your feet. Calm and professional. I was impressed. Thank you.


Thanks again for all of your support and terrific work. It is hard to find a good lawyer that looks after their client and truly cares about them and their children. I truly believe that you have my best interest at heart.


Contact Us

  1. 1 Call for Consultation
  2. 2 40+ Years of Combined Experience
  3. 3 *Certified Family Law Specialists

Fill out the contact form or call us at (408) 288-7800 to schedule your consultation.

Leave Us a Message