The novel Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the U.S.
A lot of states ordered nonessential businesses to close for some period, which causes significant financial losses for many of them. Thousands of people lost their jobs as a result. U.S. Media reported that over 16 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks.
Parents who are divorced or separated now face challenges providing financial support to their children. How can an unemployed parent continue to pay child support? What can you do while the Courts are closed?
The first thing to do for any parent who has suffered financial losses due to the pandemic is to see whether he/she is eligible for financial assistance such as state or federal benefits. A parent can also see if he/she can defer rent or mortgage payment for three months, which night help pay child support.
Do not simply stop making child support payments because arrears will begin to accrue and make you subject to a contempt of Court and/or violation and enforcement actions. You have to continue to pay child support until your order or agreement is modified.
The best way to modify your child support order or agreement is to ask the other parent to agree to a temporary modification. The other parent may consent to a reduction of child support temporarily until you are fully employed again.
Your other option is to contact the Court. Unfortunately, NYC Courts are currently shut down for new matters and might not be able to accept your request for modification. You need to contact your local child support attorney to learn about your options on how to correctly proceed with your matter.
If you plan to file a petition to modify child support as soon as the Courts open, you need to be prepared to show that you’ve been searching for new employment. You’ll also have to provide documents reflecting your income, expenses, assets, and debts for the Court to recalculate child support.
In New York State, unemployment benefits will be considered income for purposes of child support calculation.
It is essential to prepare your child support modification case before you file it. Since the Court’s are currently closed, you need to ensure you take the right steps and make the right actions to make a successful modification claim as soon as the Courts open.
Contact Rudyuk Law Firm P.C. for more information on how to modify child support due to the COVID-19 pandemic and loss of employment.