First and foremost, we hope you and your family are healthy and safe during these difficult times. The response to COVID-19 is unprecedented and has had an impact on all facets of daily life as we know it. As a result, we know many people are struggling financially right now due to no fault of their own. Employees are being furloughed, unemployment is rising dramatically, and businesses are struggling. We hope these financial struggles are temporary, the recovery is swift, and we all come out stronger in the end.
It is so hard for a parent who wants to provide for their child not to be able to do so. But an unsustainable child support obligation often only makes matters far worse. Inevitably, the parent who cannot afford to make their child support payments falls behind. The other parent cannot plan financially if they are expecting a certain amount in child support and then they are suddenly not receiving it. That parent then properly seeks help from the court to enforce the child support order. Now both parties have litigation expenses to contend with in addition to their other financial problems. The parent who is unable to pay their child support might:
- Be saddled with the other parent’s attorney’s fees,
- Have their driver’s license suspended (impacting their ability to obtain gainful employment to get out of this mess), or
- Even end up in jail.
Generally, a decrease of 25% or more in income is grounds to reduce a child support obligation. However, a court order is required. Agreements to decrease a child support obligation without a court order reflecting the decreased obligation are unenforceable. That means if someone and their ex agree that for the next few months or until further notice the child support payment will be lower, and that agreement is relied in making lower payments, the ex can legitimately seek the full amount of child support later. That verbal agreement is unenforceable.
While we are facing these new financial challenges, our law firm wants to do our part and help. We will prepare a FREE petition to reduce a child support obligation for the first 10 eligible people who contact us about this petition if their loss of income is due to COVID-19. We are also offering extremely reduced fee document preparation services for anyone who contacts us to reduce a child support obligation due to loss of income caused by this pandemic. This offer is only available for a very limited time. Subject to terms and conditions. Please contact our office for additional details.