Southern California Family Law

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Southern California Family Law

How COVID-19 May Impact Child Support and Spousal Support Payments

Child Support - August 31, 2021

How COVID-19 May Impact Child Support and Spousal Support Payments

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in job loss for thousands of people across California over the past year. Many of these people either pay or receive spousal support or child support, and the turmoil of this pandemic has a lot of people questioning how the coronavirus may impact these payments.

At the Simpson Law Group, our dedicated legal professionals are here to answer all your questions about California spousal and child support in these difficult times. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Modifications of Child or Spousal Support in California

It is important to note that the loss of a job does not automatically end support obligations for alimony or child support. Court-ordered or agreed-upon spousal or child support continues even when a former spouse or parent is laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the California courts are allowing modifications of support during this time in certain circumstances.

A modification of support during the pandemic can be permanent or temporary, and the person requesting the modification must show a substantial change in circumstances to their income. Usually, in cases of job loss, the court is more likely to grant a modification if the person requesting it shows either (1) a continued effort to regain employment; or the employer will reinstate the job upon the termination of the furlough.

However, if the person requesting the modification lost their job because of cause during the pandemic or is making no attempts at employment the court may deny the request.

Suspending Enforcement of Support in California

Another impact on spousal support and child support payments during the pandemic is in the court’s suspension of enforcement of support in arrears. Some judges are allowing former spouses and parents to make partial payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the remainder falling into arrears. Courts are suspending the enforcement of the arrearage until a later date, at which point the payor will be obligated to make up that amount. However, that can leave a spouse or parent who depends on those payments in a difficult place financially during the pandemic, as well.

Other Methods of California Support Collection

There are other methods of support collection if the payor of spousal support or child support is unable to make their payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. One option is to take part in the unemployment benefits and direct them towards the payment of support as part of an income withholding order. Another option is to petition the court to place liens on the payor’s personal property or real estate in order to compel payment if the issue does not stem from a COVID-19 layoff.

Contact our Family Law Practice in Glendale CA Today

If you have more questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect your spousal support or child support payments, the experienced family law attorneys at the Simpson Law Group are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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