Can I Get Child Support Modified if I Lost My Job Because of COVID-19?
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the American economy. Job losses have skyrocketed to 10 million in the last two weeks. If you have been furloughed or laid off as a result of the widespread public safety measures that have been enacted, then you are not alone. You may now be struggling to pay many of your bills, including your payments for child support.
The first thing you should know is that courts have made it very clear that all child custody and support arrangements are still in effect, and that they will not tolerate violations of these orders. You should therefore follow your existing child support obligations if possible. Under normal circumstances, you could seek a child support modification order if you could not afford to comply with an existing support order. However, due to the pandemic, the Courts are currently operating on a very limited basis. Their situation remains fluid, but for now their immediate attention is mainly directed to emergency situations.
How to Get a Child Support Modification Order
To get the advice you need, you should first contact Garden City divorce attorneys. They will help you navigate through this crisis. To modify your child support obligation, you must demonstrate changed circumstances that are substantial and continuing. If you have lost your job because of COVID-19, you may or may not meet this standard of proof. The fact that the economy continues to crater and that very few businesses are hiring right now can only strengthen your case. However, there is a lack of clarity about how long this crisis will last and when people will be able to go back to work. Although your application may not be heard at this time, by making the application, you will have preserved your right to retroactivity, if and when the application is granted.
As always, you should also reach out to your former spouse or partner to reach a negotiated agreement. Before applying to the Court, given the suddenness of this crisis and its prospective length, the person who is the primary carer for your child may accept a reduction in the amount of money they receive or may be willing to do without for a time. That is not likely. If your former spouse does agree, you should get such an agreement in writing and notarized with the requisite formality in order for it to be legally binding.
The Garden City divorce attorneys of Fass & Greenberg can help you obtain a child support modification order. You should call Fass & Greenberg today for a consultation.