From how we work to how we learn to how we live our daily lives, it’s easy to say that the COVID-19 pandemic changed just about every aspect of Americans’ lives. And if you’re one of the millions of people who lost their job, took a pay cut, or are working fewer hours, you’re probably wondering how that can affect the child support you receive or the support you pay.
Child Support in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 22, 2020, “New York on PAUSE” went into effect. Because this order temporarily closed 100% of nonessential businesses, many men and women found themselves out of work or working significantly less than normal, causing a loss or reduction in income. And even if you were able to file for unemployment, that amount may have been less than what you were previously earning.
The first thing you should know is that in the event of a major life change, you’re still required to pay child support until a judge reviews your case and makes an Order allowing you to pay a lower amount. Even if you were abruptly laid off, furloughed, or fired, do not automatically assume you can stop paying child support until you find employment again. Continue to pay what you can until you can resume your regular payments.
Adjusting Your Child Support Payments
If you’ve suddenly found yourself without a steady paycheck or a reduced income, it’s important that you hire a Family Law Attorney to file to have your child support obligation modified right away. In New York, a 15% change in either party’s income or other substantial change in circumstances (such as the current global pandemic) allows you to potentially obtain a modification to your child support Order.
Missing Child Support Payments
Alternatively, you may have noticed that the child support you collect from a non-custodial parent has stopped or reduced, despite the fact that a modification hasn’t yet been filed or granted. Until a change has been made, non-custodial parents are required to pay the previously Ordered child support, so you should contact a trusted, New York-based law firm to fight for you and your child’s rights.
For over a decade, Family Law Attorney Natalie Markfeld has helped New Yorkers in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties protect their rights and pursue their best interests in and out of the courtroom. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (718) 569-8618.