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How Coronavirus Could Affect Your Child Support or Alimony Payments and What to Do

How Coronavirus Could Affect Your Child Support or Alimony Payments and What to Do

by | Jun 5, 2020 | Family Law

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The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis projects that 47 million Americans could lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus. According to a recent analysis, this would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, which is a level not seen since the Great Depression.

If you are one of millions of Americans affected, it’s important to determine how this outbreak could indirectly impact your financial situation as well as your ability to pay alimony and child support.

Laid Off Because of COVID-19?

Even with businesses opening back up, some individuals are not guaranteed their job back and, unfortunately, many places are going to be slow to hire during these turbulent times. Many people that have been furloughed or laid off are finding themselves financially restricted as they await unemployment benefits and stimulus checks.

Of those laid off, divorced individuals may be unsure about how to continue making support payments while still comfortably covering their living costs. This is a financial burden that we want to help you overcome as soon as possible. Here is the first step…

File a Complaint for Child Support Modification as Soon as Possible

As unemployment numbers increase and more people either lose their jobs or fear unemployment, more people are wondering how they can compensate for lost paychecks and modify alimony or support payments. Unfortunately, it may take some time before individuals will be able to make any modifications, which is why it’s necessary to file a complaint for modification immediately if you suspect that you will have trouble making payments.

Prior to making any modifications to court-ordered support payments, individuals will be required to prove that a substantial change took place—such as losing a job—and that the change will affect them in the long-term. In many instances, job loss is considered a temporary change that won’t warrant modification of maintenance or support payments. On the other hand, if an individual is still unable to find employment over time, even as stay-at-home orders are lifted and people are able to return to work, he or she may be able to file a complaint for modification.

It’s important to keep in mind that any modification of payments can take as long as a year or even longer to finalize through court proceedings. Further complicating matters, delays may occur as a result of the courts’ inability to operate during normal hours at this time. Once the courts finally make a return to routine schedules, many individuals may also find that they no longer qualify due to a change in employment status, even if they are still struggling financially.

Contact Our Family Law Attorneys

If you lost your job or fear that you’ll lose your job because of COVID-19 and would like to learn if you qualify for modification, consult with the reputable family law attorneys in St. Louis at Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP today. Our professional legal team of Missouri divorce and family law attorneys will be able to provide a free case consultation to look at your child and/or spousal support obligations. We can also provide answers to other questions you may have regarding all family law matters during these uncertain times.