How COVID-19 Impacts Child Support Payments

Child Support & COVID-19

Child support is always a difficult topic to approach, especially when major changes need to be made. Because of Coronavirus, unemployment has skyrocketed and left many people wondering how they can pay child support. For those receiving child support, they may wonder if it's possible for their ex to continue making those payments. These are important questions, and you will need to take quick action if you are to make it through this tough time with financial solvency.

Seek a Modification Immediately

First and foremost, you cannot retrofit a child support order. Any changes that are to be made to a child support agreement will only apply, at the earliest, to the date the modification was submitted. Because child support offices throughout New York are currently closed, all changes will need to be submitted online. A Dutchess County family law attorney can help to expedite the process by leveraging relationships throughout the legal community.

Proving the Need for a Modification

For some people, working from home means an increase in expenses. Buying takeout is expensive if you can't find enough food at the grocery store. However, simply stating an increase in expenses isn't likely to help you secure a new agreement.

For a successful modification, one of the following events must take place:

  • You had a substantial change in your circumstances
  • Three years have passed since the last modification
  • Your income was affected by at least 15 percent

Failing to Make a Child Support Payment

One thing you should not do is skip a child support payment. Before you make any decision about how to proceed during these difficult financial times, you should at least consult with a legal professional who is versed in family law. Failing to pay child support will put you at risk of far more serious penalties than not having enough money.

Instead, file an application for a modification, and make sure it includes all the necessary information to help prove your case. Once there is a record of your having submitted a petition for a modification, you can speak with a lawyer about paying a smaller sum based on standard calculations.

The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC can help you find more answers to questions. Call (845) 605-4330 now or contact the firm online to speak with an attorney.