Millions of Americans find themselves unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic and shut-down orders affecting non-essential businesses. Many court-ordered child support and alimony payments likely have been impacted as a result, at least temporarily. What can payors and payees do to deal with the present circumstances?
Existing court orders remain in effect unless a judge approves a modification. That said, courts strongly urge divorced couples and co-parents to make every effort to be flexible and to work out reasonable temporary solutions between themselves–particularly now, with courthouses remaining closed to all but emergency in-person hearings. It is a stressful time for everyone and emotions may be heightened; using extra patience and having constructive, ongoing conversations are vital.
For the person who depends on child support and/or alimony payments, it is still possible to seek a legal remedy if court-ordered payments are in arrears; some Family Court judges are holding hearings via video conference. If support payments have stopped completely, and documented efforts to work out a solution with the payor have failed, your own income is insufficient, and financial circumstances have become dire, please Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today for any questions or to set up a consultation.
Losing a job due to the pandemic does not automatically entitle someone to a court-ordered reduction in alimony or child support payments. This is in part because any negative change in economic circumstances must be proven to be long-term, not temporary.
If a payor does file to modify their child or spousal support agreement, the judge will request documentation and ask questions to determine:
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today for any questions or to set up a consultation.
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