During a time when we all need financial support to get through this COVID pandemic, some families find themselves dealing with how to handle their child and spousal support issues as the economic impact of COVID takes its toll.
If you have support arrangements with your ex, or soon-to-be ex, and the spouse paying support is financially impacted by COVID (due to a job loss or business shutdown), it is best to try to make an effort to work things out amicably. Not only will this help accommodate one another, but it will also prevent more tension for your family during what is already challenging time.
If working things out amongst one another is not an option (perhaps because it is perceived that one spouse is using the pandemic as an excuse to avoid a support obligation), then the matter will need to be brought before a judge, who will decide on whether the support obligation should be changed.
The party seeking to reduce his or her support obligation will need to demonstrate to the Court that they can no longer pay their support obligation through no fault of their own. The judge will need to determine whether this is true. He or she will look at things such as:
- Are all other bills being paid on a timely basis?
- Are other sources of income, such as unemployment or a business loan?
- Is the situation temporary?
Court-ordered obligations are not optional and are taken seriously by the Court; however, the Courts are considering how the pandemic has impacted families financially and making adjustments where appropriate.
If you are having a difficult time either paying or collecting support due to the pandemic (or for any other reason), contact our office for a consultation.