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If you're like many other people, your financial security is currently threatened by the measures being taken to contain the COVID-19 virus. You may be laid off indefinitely.

Child support could become a significant issue. If you're currently unable to pay your support because of the epidemic, there are good and bad ways of handling the situation.

1. Do not use the coronavirus as an excuse unless it is genuinely affecting you

A South Carolina woman apparently thought that she could just claim to be infected with virus and get out of a child support hearing. She probably assumed that court officials would take her at her word, at least for now. They didn't. She's now likely to face charges. Don't make a similar mistake.

2. If you can't afford your existing support, ask for a modification order

If your income is only temporarily disrupted, you may want to hold off asking the court for a change to your support order. If you suspect that it may be a while before your income is restored, it's fair to ask for a modification order. Just keep in mind that the courts may be struggling to keep up with requests during this time.

3. Stay in contact with your case manager or attorney if you have a support issue pending

California has made it easy for parents to check on the status of their child support cases electronically. Make use of it if you simply need more information. Your other best resource is an attorney. Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, child support attorneys are in the best position to know what can -- and can't -- be done right now about your case.


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