Changes to Child Support Due to Covid-19
Financial impacts as a result of COVID-19 could require changes in your child support order.
As a result of business closures and stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, many people have either gotten laid-off from their jobs, been furloughed, or suffered significant financial losses. For parents, this has the potential to impact how you provide for your children. Changes in income can affect either parent in these cases and often require child support modifications. The following details ways in which this might apply and how our Gwinnett County child support attorneys can help.
How Covid-19 May be Affecting Your Child Support
Under the Georgia Code, parents have a legal obligation to provide for their children. For those who are divorced or unmarried, a formal child support order helps to ensure this obligation is met. While there are standard guidelines in place to determine the amount, judges consider numerous other factors involved, including each parent’s income, and any child time sharing orders that may be in place.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about major upheaval for many people, not the least of which is financial. This can play out in several ways in child support cases:
- Parents not receiving the amount of support they are owed: If you generally receive regular child support and the other parent loses their job, this could jeopardize these payments.
- Parents requiring additional support: If you receive child support but your income has changed, you may be entitled to additional amounts.
- If you are required to pay child support: If you suffer a job loss or a reduction in hours, it could jeopardize your ability to make court ordered child support payments. This is a serious situation that requires immediate attention. Violating any existing child support orders in place could result in property liens, wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, and an order being issued for your arrest.
Requesting a Child Support Modification
In child support cases, either party may request a modification of the amount paid through the Gwinnett County Superior Court. However, there must be a significant change in circumstances in order for a judge to grant your request. Job losses and income reductions due to COVID-19 would likely fall into this category.
To request a modification, steps you will need to follow include:
- Provide copies of your current child support order;
- Provide a record of past payments;
- Provide evidence regarding significant changes in employment or wages, such as pay stubs or a letter from your employer.
Our Gwinnett County child support attorneys can assist you in gathering this information and in filing a formal Request for Modification of Child Support through the local court. This will not eliminate any past due amounts owed, nor will it eliminate the paying parent’s obligation. Even if they are unemployed, they are still expected to contribute. Furthermore, even if the parent receiving the support agrees verbally, or in writing, to accept a reduced amount of child support, the paying parent is still obligated to pay the amount of the current child support order, unless, and until, the court signs a new order.
Let Our Norcross Child Support Attorneys Assist You
At Zimmerman & Associates, we provide the trusted legal representation you need to protect yourself in child support proceedings. To discuss your case, call or contact our Gwinnett County child support attorneys online and request a consultation today.