Modifying your support agreement during a pandemic
Dear Clients and Friends,
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on millions of Americans’ financial situations. Layoffs, reduced hours, furloughs and business closings have changed people’s economic outlook. It’s also made it hard for people paying child support to meet their obligations and equally hard for child support recipients to cover their expenses. If this sounds like your situation, you should talk to us because there are options.
Your first option should be to talk openly and honestly with the other parent and try to negotiate an arrangement while the pandemic is going on. Be reasonable — it’s likely that the other parent has experienced changed circumstances that impact their needs as well. If you can agree ahead of time and your agreement is reasonable it can be formalized and submitted to the court for approval.
If things cannot be worked out with the other parent, you may have to go to court to seek a modification. In that case, you will need to show that you lack the ability and opportunity to earn. When you’re facing this situation, it’s important that you’re actively trying to find another job, regardless of how challenging that might be at this point. This is because a judge will want to see that you’re making a good faith effort to find employment. Be sure to document your efforts so it can be correctly reported on to the court.
Finally, if you think you need to file for a modification it’s important that you do so quickly. Courts throughout this pandemic have, for all intents and purposes, been closed and are reopening at different rates around the country. Filings have not let up and back logs are most likely at all time highs throughout California and our nation. It is at this time a routinely lengthy process between filing and your case being resolved. However, by filing early you can take advantage of the support reduction order being retroactive to your filing date.
We continue to offer free phone evaluations on resolving options for all of your legal problems and we invite you to call to see if we can of help.