While the pandemic has forced approximately 21 million people to file for unemployment in our country, the obligation to pay child and/or spousal support payments still remains, even with an increased financial burden to a lot of individuals. Once the country reopens, state by state, there is sure to be a deluge in requests for modification of support orders, but until the courts allow these motions to be filed, the obligation will continue to accrue.
In addition to the paying individual (payor) that may be affected by unemployment, the ex spouse, ex-partner, or other parent, may be relying on these support payments for rent and to cover his/her living expenses and cannot live without the support payments.
Once the courts do re-open for what is deemed a non-emergency filing, depending on the number of cases and case overload prior to the pandemic, getting a fast decision or relief from the Judge may be challenging.
It is also important to note that the Court will look at more than just your income to assess the support. Unemployment benefits that you may be collecting are considered income and will be assessed towards your ability to fulfill your obligations. Additionally, if you are behind your Child Support payments, according to the IRS, you will not receive a Stimulus Check.
All in all, this is a trying and difficult time for most everyone and the Courts will hopefully be understanding to both parties that may be suffering. In the meantime, if you cannot reach a mutual understanding or modification with your ex, it is best to have all the paperwork complete and ready to file as soon as the “Pause” button turns to “Go.”e f