The world has been facing a public health crisis that has caused significant economic changes and uncertainty. In the first two quarters of the year, families that are both intact and separated are facing increasing financial problems and struggles. More so for the latter, if one parent is obligated by the court to pay child support. But, with the ongoing pandemic, are there laws in place that allow for modification of child support?
Touchstone Family Law founder Leigh Sellers explores the process for applying to have child support recalculated and modified, with an emphasis on the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leigh discusses the five areas that impact the decision, including significant changes in income sources, cost, and availability of health insurance and childcare. 3:08 If you want the modification, you need to ask, so it is imperative that you speak with your attorney and ex-spouse as soon as possible. 7:33
Leigh also describes how the process for requesting changes will be different if you have a court order versus an agreement or contract with the other parent. In the latter case, the court will be focused more on a child’s needs rather than changes in circumstances, so modifying such agreements may be more challenging. 09:36
And because of COVID-19, courts not only have an increasing backlog of cases, they are not attending to non-emergency matters at this point. With that in mind, it may be beneficial to explore other options that can avoid a lengthy legal process. 11:21 Alternative dispute resolutions including mediation, arbitration, and a collaborative approach are becoming exponentially more popular in light of the pandemic to develop short and long-term solutions. 13:18
Ultimately, it’s important that you seek legal counsel if and when you feel it has become necessary to modify the terms of your child support order or agreement. As you consider your options, you can get prepared by gathering necessary documents, figures, and other required information for your case. 14:37
The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com