COVID-19 is an unprecedented health pandemic that has raised new concerns with many unexpected issues. One of those issues is child support. Many employers are struggling with problems resulting from the temporary Coronavirus crisis; however, those problems are causing permanent changes to their businesses. The effects on the company are in turn affecting the individual employees. Individuals are experiencing reduced income due to diminished hours at work, temporary layoffs, and, in some cases, termination of their employment position.
If you are having trouble paying your child support, you are not alone. Reduced wages are going to affect the payment of current child support and ongoing child support orders. The Department of Child Support Services has a dedicated page to the COVID-19 pandemic at https://childsupport.ca.gov/covid-19-updates/.
If you have current child support orders, you are obligated to pay those orders before any other commitments in your life. However, during this time, you may not be able to pay those payments due to changes in your employment. If you are suffering changes to your job, it is in your best interest to do the following:
- Pay as much of your current child support order as you can.
- Submit a request to the Court to lower your current child support order due to a change in your income.
Although most courts in California are not accepting new filings at this time, Riverside is marking those filings as received and will be filed as soon as the Court reopens for business. An application will be made to the Court at that time to mark the request as filed upon the date the Court received it. The Court is reviewing its authority to mark those items filed on such date; but we are hopeful we will prevail on that request. San Bernardino is not accepting any filings at this time; however, having your request for child support modification ready to go immediately upon the Court’s reopening is in your best interest.
If you have a child support order that you are unable to pay, please contact our Riverside County office to discuss your options with one of our certified family law specialists or dedicated family law attorneys.