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Work Stoppage May Require Child Support Modifications

 Posted on March 20, 2020 in Child Support

Work Stoppage May Require Child Support ModificationsThough much of the U.S. economy has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, many expenses continue on as normal. For parents who have divorced or separated, child support payments are still necessary. Unfortunately, parents may have increased difficulty paying for child-related expenses if they have lost their jobs or are not receiving pay. You need to immediately talk with a divorce lawyer if your income has been reduced, whether you are the payer of child support or the recipient.

Consequences for Payers

The only way to lawfully reduce the amount of child support you pay to your co-parent is by modifying your child support order in court. Losing your job makes you immediately eligible to modify your child support payments, but the courts may be slow to act on it because they are partially shut down due to the virus outbreak. Once your case is heard, the court will likely calculate a new child support amount based on your current income. Unemployment benefits will count towards that income.

If you are already behind on making child support payments, you now have an added incentive to catch up with the payments if you can. The federal stimulus bill includes a one-time payout of $1,200 for adults who meet the income requirements. However, one of the senators who authored the bill has publicly stated that the payment may be offset in part or in full if the recipient is reported to have missed child support payments.

Recipient’s Dilemma

If you are the parent who receives child support from your co-parent, you also have the right to modify your child support payments in order to receive more support. Illinois calculates child support based on the combined incomes of the parents. Though the child support recipient is not sending monthly payments, they are expected to contribute a specified amount to the children’s expenses. When the recipient loses their job, the child support formula needs to be adjusted, which will likely result in the other parent paying more than before.

Contact a Naperville, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

Even though a court may not be able to hear your case immediately, it is good to start preparing your child support modification request so that you are ready once the courts re-open. The sooner you are able to file the request, the sooner you can avoid paying too much in child support or increase the amount of child support you receive. A DuPage County divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will make sure you are ready to file the request. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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