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Can Child Support Payments Be Modified Because of COVID-19?

Posted on in Child Support

Naperville IL child support modification attorney2020 has been a difficult year for many families. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of stress for many people, requiring them to stay at home and avoid contact with others whenever possible. Parents have had to determine how to provide for their children’s educational needs as they learn from home or attend in-person classes part of the time, and they may have struggled to balance these concerns with the need to work from home or follow the proper safety measures while in public. On top of everything else, many parents have had to deal with financial difficulties due to layoffs, business closures, or restricted working hours. Divorced or separated parents will want to understand how changes to income or other financial obligations will affect the child support they pay or receive, and they may need to take steps to pursue a modification of their child support orders or other terms of their parenting plan.

Modifications Based on a Change in Circumstances

Typically, the terms of a divorce decree or child support order will only be changed if it can be demonstrated that a parent has experienced a significant change in circumstances. A change in the income earned by either parent will usually qualify as a significant change. For example, a job loss may cause a parent to be unable to meet their child support obligations, and they may ask for a reduction in the amount they will be required to pay. If a parent who receives child support suffers a loss in income, they may ask for an increase in the amount of child support payments to ensure that they can continue to meet their children’s financial needs.

Parents are required to continue to pay child support until a modification goes into effect. To ensure that they do not suffer legal consequences, a parent may need to use unemployment benefits, personal savings, or other financial resources to pay child support. If a parent owes child support, any COVID-19 stimulus payments they receive from the government may be intercepted and applied toward the amount owed.

A petition for modification of child support should be filed as soon as possible after a parent experiences a job loss or a decrease in income. Temporary or permanent changes to child support obligations may be made if necessary, and these changes may be retroactive to the date the petition was filed. By notifying the court quickly, parents can avoid ongoing financial difficulties related to their child support obligations, and they can ensure that they will be able to meet their own needs while providing for their children.

Contact a Naperville Child Support Lawyer

If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19, or if you have suffered setbacks that have affected your ability to provide for your children, Calabrese Associates, P.C. can help you determine your legal options. We will work with you to modify your child support order and ensure that you can address your financial concerns going forward. Contact our DuPage County family law attorneys today at 630-393-3111.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/dcsscovid19FAQ.aspx

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k510.htm

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