You Become Unemployed Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Can You Not Pay Child Support Payments?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused emotional, financial, mental, and physical effects on families across the globe. With uncertainties lingering, a lot of working parents experience layoffs or furloughs that have a direct impact on child support payments that courts have ordered. Aside from worrying about making their payments on time, financially affected parents also worry about if they could make payments at all. If you are one of these parents, you should consult a Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC attorney to know more about their legal options and what they could do about missed payments because of circumstances associated with the pandemic.
Can the Pandemic Offer Child Support Payment Relief?
The COVID-19 crisis has reshaped almost all aspects of people’s daily lives, it cannot stop or pause child support obligations. Because child support payments are ordered by courts, the court can’t grant payment relief during this global crisis. Therefore, even if a parent cannot make their scheduled payments due to the pandemic’s economic implications, their child support obligations still remain. Child support payments are done for a child’s best interest. Failure to pay child support if owed can result in many consequences such as tax refund confiscation, wage and unemployment garnishment, issuance of a warrant of arrest, exclusion from government benefits, and more.
Modifying a Child Support Agreement
A parent who is paying child support can file a motion that seeks to modify their current child support obligation. When their employment status, living situation, responsibilities, or expenses have changed permanently, they can file a request for this modification. They should present this request to family court that explains the reason they think the child support award must be changed. The court may consider what’s reasonable and equitable for both parents before they make a decision.
What Happens if You Cannot Pay?
Before the court can decide on your modification request, you should keep paying your child support level. This way, you can demonstrate your intention to fulfill your obligations and care for your child. But, if you don’t have access to any funds, consider calling your ex-spouse to inform them about your issue. Your ex may work with you in coming up with a temporary agreement. Always keep in touch with your ex throughout this situation, even if through their attorney. This can make it easier to preserve a positive relationship for the benefit of your beloved child. Also, this may give you a chance to resolve your support problem.