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Child Support During COVID

We are in a lock down as a result of the corona virus. Many people have been forced to stay at home and have lost their jobs. To compound this problem, your child support check has not arrived. You and your spouse are not working. Here is a case of legality vs. reality. Legally, a child support order is a court order and must be followed unless another order is signed by a judge changing the support order. So weeks into the shelter in place order your spouse has failed to provide the ordered support. Your first step: have a discussion. Find out why the support was not forthcoming. If your spouse lost their job as a result of this pandemic they may physically not be able to make support payments. They may not be making mortgage/rent payments. Find out the situation. If they were furloughed, once they get back to work, ensure that child support payments are made plus an accommodation to pay arrears.

If they were fired, it is incumbent on them to find another job and start making payments. Keep in mind the reality that during these unique times, they may not be able to find new employment until the pandemic is lifted. If they have savings, they should be making an attempt to make payments. This is not a moratorium on all support payments. They are still legally obligated to provide support. The question really becomes are they able to or are they unable due to these unique circumstances.

Of course, if you are unhappy with their answer, either because they refuse to speak to you or because their explanation simply is not grounded in truth, your option is to bring this issue to the Court. Bringing a person to court who lost their job due to the corona virus may not be the best option. Before engaging in costly motion practice attempt to find out what the situation is. Legally, they are responsible for support but the reality may be—as a result of the pandemic—it is not possible. Focus on your outcome, stay strong and keep taking ground.

© 2019 by Divins & Divins, P.C.

600 Old Country Road,

Garden City, NY 11530, Suite 337

Tel: 516-228-5050/ Fax: 516-228-8160

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