By Jadelyne Long
Litigation Attorney, Cordell & Cordell
Corporations are laying off and putting employees on leave across the county, with those who are concerned unsure whether they will be hired in their state after the home stay order is lifted. These are common concerns that many of our customers at Cordell & Cordell have asked us due to the COVID-19 crisis.
With these worries, they may not have jobs to return to and, as a result, they may not be able to pay their child support and / or child support obligations. Unemployment rates have skyrocketed over the past month due to COVID-19.
If you notice this, you know you have options and we are here to help. Remember, I’m licensed in the state of Florida. All tips are based on my legal experience in that state.
I was on leave from my employer for the next few months and cannot make any payments during this time. What am I doing?
Unfortunately, your child’s child support and / or maintenance obligations do not automatically stop if you can no longer afford to pay them. In addition, if you fail to pay child support, you could be despised in court, your driver’s license suspended, you could be required to pay a cleaning fee or a lump sum, or you could be warranted for arrest. These obligations remain as long as they are not changed by a court order.
If you are having difficulty and are unable to pay child support or maintenance obligations to your child, contact a family law attorney such as: B. at Cordell & Cordell. An attorney can help you navigate your options to protect your interests in court.
The courts are still open and hold hearings remotely. During this time, a request for a temporary reduction or withholding of your obligations can be made. You should still pay what you can during this time to show the court that you are trying to pay in good faith and that you are not completely evading your legal obligation. If you can pay for something, do it.
I have been fired from my job and cannot fulfill my support obligations. I applied for unemployment. What can I do?
In order to change or modify your commitment, you must demonstrate a material change in circumstances that were not foreseen at the time the original agreement or order was entered. If your circumstances are permanent and you are fired, you can try to change your child support and / or child support obligations by requesting a change. However, the request for a change can only be made from the time you submitted the change.
Therefore, changes cannot be made retrospectively on the day you submitted the change. For example, if you lost your job in the last month but wait two months to request a change, the court can only change your payments from the date you filed the change, even though your income was cut significantly two months earlier .
Again, it is always recommended that you pay what you can, even if it means part of your unemployment income. Unemployment benefit is also considered the income for calculating child benefit. You should also try to find new employment and keep a record of all applications submitted to demonstrate your efforts.