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Can Alimony and Child Support Be Affected by the Pandemic?

Has the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted your financial situation? Perhaps your employer lost their business? Or maybe you lost your job or were temporarily laid off?

Or, if you’re like many people receiving alimony or child support, your ex-spouse is experiencing a loss or reduction of income. What are you supposed to do to pay the bills when you’re no longer receiving the income you need?

On the other side of the equation, if you’re responsible for making alimony and child support payments, how can you fulfill your obligations when COVID-19 has squelched your income? These are questions worth examining, especially since so many people are dealing with financial hardship right now due to the pandemic.

I’m Unable to Pay Alimony or Child Support. Now What?

40 million Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic, and many more were hit with fewer hours on the schedule or a reduction in pay. If these grave circumstances apply to you, you may be able to get a modification of your payments (more on that in a moment).

Of course, you’ll need to prove that your financial situation is dire. Be prepared to prove the following:

  • Your income has been decreased or lost
  • The needs of your child have changed
  • Healthcare and childcare costs for your child(ren) have increased

You can proceed with a petition for payment modification once you have these documents that show your inability to make these payments.

Remember, only future payments can be modified. So, the sooner you act and seek legal representation, the better.

What Can You Do if the Coronavirus is Impacting Your Alimony or Child Support?

Whether you are the payor or the payee of alimony and child support, you can experience financial difficulty during this unprecedented time. At stake is the health and welfare of your child(ren). That’s why it’s important to be proactive about finding a temporary compromise with your ex-spouse.

Ideally, your relationship is such that both sides can be open and transparent about their needs and agree on a solution, even if it’s only temporary. Even if you successfully reach a compromise, it’s important to legally document the modifications to avoid interpretation and enforcement issues in the future.

If you and your ex-spouse are unable to find common ground, you might consider seeking court intervention to mediate the issue. In this case, we highly recommend seeking a skilled family law attorney for counsel.

You may be able to request a review for modifications of child support payments. If it’s been less than two years since your case was last reviewed, you may need to supply proof that an income change has occurred. Get more information by contacting your Murfreesboro child support office and a child support attorney.

Contact a Murfreesboro Family Law Attorney for Help

Has your financial situation changed due to the pandemic? Whether you are the payer or recipient of alimony and child support, you have options. Get in touch with a Murfreesboro family law attorney that knows how you may be eligible for a change in payments or another form of relief. At Dotson & Taylor, we know these are trying times, and we want to help.

Contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll analyze your situation and answer any questions you may have.