12 Jan Unemployed Parents and Paying Child Support During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed life as we know it. Schools were forced to shut their doors, and no one left their homes. Unfortunately, another thing that happened was that millions of people lost their jobs. Losing a job has been especially detrimental for divorced parents who are paying child support. This article will offer an in-depth discussion on unemployed parents and paying child support during COVID-19.
How Was Your Child Support Determined?
In Washington State, child support can be determined in two ways: by the courts or by an administrative office known as the Division of Child Support (DCS). The amount of child support you pay during the pandemic is dependent on how your agreement was determined. If your agreement was formulated by the courts, the only way to change it is through the courts. Courtrooms may not be as amendable to change as DCS is. Many courtrooms hold the position that COVID-19 warrants a stoppage in child support. On the other hand, DCS is taking phone calls to listen to people’s situations.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay?
Many people rely on the child support they receive from their former partner. So, if someone does not make the payments, the consequences are intense. Failure to pay child support will result in you being in contempt of court. If you lose your job or there is a change in your pay, you can look into modifying your child support agreement so that you don’t have to pay when times are tough. However, in this case, you will go into child support debt. This means that you will owe the money back at some point in the future.
What About Stimulus Payments?
The parent who claims the child as a dependent for that tax year was entitled to receive the stimulus benefit for that child. If you fall behind on support, you may have your stimulus funds or tax return withheld to pay the arrearage or have wages garnished from your employer. It is important to have an attorney who will be able to modify child support payments if needed. Luckily, LaCoste Family Law knows exactly how to handle these situations.
This article has discussed the relationship between unemployed parents and paying child support during COVID-19. We are living through unprecedented times. Some courts will be amendable to change, but most will not. For this reason, you may need a child support lawyer in Washington State. Contact LaCoste Family Law regarding this matter if you need help figuring out this situation.