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The Impact of COVID-19 on Child Support

COVID-19 seems to be sticking around, and will be affecting us for a while yet. This deadly virus has changed the lives of millions of people around the world and has impacted various aspects of marriage and divorce.

If you have child support obligations, you know how serious this topic is. Child support often represents a significant percentage of a person’s income, making it imperative to understand how COVID-19 is altering this court-mandated obligation. Here are a few important details.

Court Issues

Child support cases are often settled in a courtroom. But what happens when a pandemic sweeps across the globe? Well, you get some major delays.

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, courtrooms have become largely empty. With a limited number of people allowed in the same vicinity, and requirements of social distancing, it is very difficult to have a day in court. If you were waiting for a judge to settle a child support case before the pandemic, you might still be waiting, or you could be waiting for a virtual hearing. The court systems will recover, but patience is necessary in this unprecedented situation.

Flexible Payment Plans

I don’t have to tell you that millions of people have lost their jobs during COVID-19. In those cases, it more difficult to make child support payments timely. Luckily, banks have helped those struggling with financial challenges at this time.

If you have fallen on hard times, be sure to notify your financial institution about your situation. Many are offering flexible payment plans tailored to what you can afford for the time being. Child support payments should not be ignored, as failure to pay them can result in non-compliance penalties such as passport restrictions, a suspended driver’s license, and jailtime in some cases. Banks are more flexible now than ever, so act accordingly if you are experiencing COVID-related financial issues.

Re-allocation of Funds

When you are working on a limited budget, sometimes you must make difficult decisions about where the money goes. Child support often pays for a variety of things, but COVID-19 has made divorced people have in-depth discussions about how to maximize hard-earned dollars going towards their children.

Communication with your ex is key here. You both want what is best for your child(ren), but financial constraints have the potential to make that more difficult. Talk it out, go over every aspect of the situation, and come to a consensus on what child support payment should go towards.

Be safe. Be healthy. Wear your masks.

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