Child Support and Coronavirus: Things to be Aware of
The current pandemic has had a significant financial toll on most people. Businesses have closed down, several people have been sent home on unpaid leave, and the few lucky ones get to receive just a small percentage of their regular salary. Any pandemic and, in particular, the current coronavirus is an inhibiting factor for anyone responsible for paying child support. As a payor of child support, having to deal with the harsh economic times trying to meet personal needs and pay child support can be challenging. A consultation with Atlanta divorce lawyers can help you establish your legal options and subsequently reduce the child support payments.
Most state laws don’t favor a temporary deduction of child support brought about by a temporary economic crisis. However, the coronavirus pandemic has not impacted just an individual because most people across the globe are also struggling. Therefore, both the payor and recipient of child support are both probably struggling financially. During such times, courts of equity-like the Family Court can intervene and provide relief for a payor.
Modifying child support
As the payor of child support, you need to be aware that the modification process prompted by tough economic times is not straightforward. It takes the guidance of a competent Atlanta divorce lawyer to understand the legal processes involved in modifying child support. Here are some of the factors that judges often look at before granting a modification.
A substantial change in the income of the payor
The substantial change factor applies both ways. First, there must be a change in the income of either parent. Secondly, there must be an apparent change in a child’s needs.
25% loss of income
An involuntary economic loss can only be substantial when the income lost due to the pandemic is 25% of your initial income at the time of assessment of child support or more.
Working closely with an Atlanta child support attorney will help you get insights into how the calculations are done to arrive at a modification. With a competent attorney by your side, you will be better placed to know whether you qualify for a child support modification.
Best interests of the child
Every decision made by a judge on a matter touching on a child, e.g., child support, must consider the principle of the child’s best interests. Therefore the effects such modification has on the child will be a crucial consideration before your prayer for modification is granted.
In such a scenario, constant communication with your co-parent might help the judge arrive at a favorable decision. Additionally, a competent Atlanta divorce attorney can help create a platform for communication, leading to a decision that does not negatively affect any party.
Remember that failure to follow the right legal procedures in seeking child custody can lead to various repercussions on your end, like failure to receive federal tax refunds.
How you may have been affected by the stimulus check if you owed child support
Everyone enjoys a tax refund more so during such tough economic times. Due to the pandemic as a payor of child support, assuming that child support collection agencies will understand your defaults is a major mistake. Your federal tax refund might end up being used by child support collection agencies to offset the amount you owe in child support. However, before any federal stimulus rebate payment is applied to your child support arrears, some considerations will have to be made.
Therefore working with The Fuller Law Group can help you understand more about the stimulus check and what you need to do to get a child support modification as fast as possible. Our attorneys understand the tough economic times hence we will make the modification process as bearable as possible.