Has COVID-19 Impacted Child Support?

At the beginning of February, unemployment in the United States had reached a 50-year low. Wage growth was strong, the U.S. economic picture was robust and small business owners were optimistic about the future. Then, the novel coronavirus arrived in the U.S. and the economy changed in the blink of an eye.

While millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), those who work in dining, retail, travel, tourism, entertainment, transportation, and salon services have been said to be hit the hardest. Every day of the quarantine, the risk of families and businesses large and small suffering increases. As noncustodial parents go longer and longer without a paycheck, skipping child support payments due to lack of funds becomes more real.

Paying for Basic Necessities

For those parents who have been financially affected by COVID-19, as their funds run out, some will stop paying their credit cards, medical bills, and other non-essential expenses that don’t keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and gas in the car. Child support may be the first or the last to go unpaid, but since it isn’t essential to the paying parent’s survival, it may be one of the big obligations on the chopping block.

If you’re a noncustodial parent who has been directly impacted by the coronavirus, it’s important that you know that you can’t just stop paying because you’re out of work or your hours have been drastically cut. If you skip payments, the local child support agency will use a variety of enforcement measures, including driver’s license suspension, tax refund intercept, bank account seizures, and U.S. passport denial to collect, and that’s only the beginning.

What Solution Do You Have?

If you can’t afford your child support payments due to the coronavirus, contact our firm for help with a downward modification. Child support is NOT retroactive, so until a court changes your order, your child support arrears will continue to accrue. They cannot be reduced or adjusted from the day you lost your job or experienced the change in circumstances.

To learn more, we invite you to contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.