The nation is currently experiencing a way of life that is frightening and unknown. In the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic many employers and small businesses are scrambling to meet their expenses, and in turn are forced to lay off their employees. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not only affecting the health of the nation but has started to affect the economic security of our citizens. People are being let go from their jobs, with no source of income in sight. We have already had clients reach out to us who have lost their jobs and are worried about being able to continue paying child support and alimony with no employment prospects available to them. This is an understandable concern, and one that not many were prepared for. Clients are worried about child support and alimony arrears piling up, and possible jail time for non-payment. All of these are valid concerns and we would like to make some recommendations on how to deal with this type of situation should you find yourself out of work.
- Communicate: This is an unprecedented time in our lives. Everyone is navigating this new reality day by day. Communicate with your former spouse and try to work out a solution if you find yourself without a job and an inability to pay. Document your communications and try to reach a temporary alternate agreement with regards to payments while you look for new employment.
- Be Proactive: When one usually loses their job or has a decrease in income the Court will request proof that the party is actively looking for alternate means of employment / income. While not everyone may be hiring at this time, do your best to put your resume out there and apply for jobs to show you are doing everything in your power to continue your obligation.
- Make a Good Faith Effort: If you can pay something towards your obligation, do it. The Courts will consider whether a good faith attempt was made to pay a portion of your obligation and will look at your ability to do so. While you may not have the ability to pay 100% of your obligation because your income has decreased, an effort to pay something during these times will likely not go unnoticed.
While there is no way to know how the Courts are going to be dealing with this unprecedented situation, we will keep you updated as information is relayed to us. If you have a concern regarding paying your child support or alimony due to a loss of income because of the coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.
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