There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic in this country has completely changed most people’s way of life. Nowhere is this more evident than the economy. A few months ago, this country had a historically low unemployment rate. Now, unemployment has spiked to unprecedented levels in just two months. This has become a problem for those who receive child support and those who pay child support. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our Simi Valley divorce attorneys want to talk about whether a person can get a modification for their child support orders during this difficult time.
Getting a Child Support Modification in California
Stay at home orders in California have dramatically affected how residents in Simi Valley live their lives. Unfortunately, this has also led to many people losing their jobs and being unable to find new work. For those who have to pay monthly child support, they may need to seek modifications to their child support order.
After a monthly child support order is issued during a separation or divorce, either parent is allowed to request a modification to the amount through the court system. This can include a request to increase the amount from the parent receiving the support or a request to lower the support amount by the paying parent. If a parent has a legitimate inability to pay child support at the current level ordered by the court, a downward modification may be justified.
The first thing that parents need to recognize is that they are required to support their minor children according to the circumstances and station in their life. Please realize that you should not make any changes to your child support order without approval from the court. If you miss payments, you can be found liable for contempt and punishable by fines or jail time.
The courts will generally not modify child support orders unless there has been a significant change in circumstances since the previous order was issued. In many cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented paying parents with extraordinary circumstances. When a request is made to lower child support payments, each parents’ income will be considered. If you have lost your job due to the pandemic, this will certainly factor in to do the calculations. However, the court does include unemployment benefits when making a determination of how much to alter the monthly child support payment amounts.
Let Us Get To Work On Your Behalf
If you have experienced a significant financial setback due to the coronavirus pandemic, or for any other reason, you may need to obtain a modification of your child support orders. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we understand this is a difficult time for everybody. We are here to ensure that our clients and their children have quality legal representation and that your rights are upheld. If you have any questions about family law or child support in Simi Valley, we want to help you today. You can contact our Simi Valley child support attorneys for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.