How COVID-19 is Impacting Child Support
Despite the numbers of new COVID-19 cases decreasing across the United States, thousands of parents and children are still dealing with the fallout of this global pandemic. In many cases, this means issues with the payment and receipt of child support over the last year or more that are necessary to cover the living expenses and maintain the child’s standard of living. If you wish to learn more about how COVID-19 has impacted child support in Florida and what your legal options are, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa today to schedule a free consultation.
Enforcing Child Support Orders
Enforcing child support orders has become difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of being able to go in person to a Florida Department of Revenue office, all contact must be done online or by phone. With most courts going remote, getting on the court schedule to petition for a Contempt of Court order or other enforcement by a judge has also been more difficult. Even with the courts and government offices opening back up, the backlog of claims and cases is extreme. An experienced family law attorney can help expedite an enforcement order through the state and the courts.
Modifying Child Support Orders
Many parents have also requested modifications to child support during the COVID-19 pandemic. A modification is appropriate when there has been a substantial change in circumstances that is permanent, material, and unanticipated at the time of the original order. Many courts are allowing for a temporary or permanent modification of child support if a parent has lost their job because of the pandemic. Modifications have also been allowed if the pandemic has resulted in a change in the child custody arrangement between parents, with one parent spending more or less time with their child over the last year. The percentage of time spent with a child affects the amount of support that parent is required to contribute to the child’s ongoing care.
COVID-19 Financial Relief
It is also important to note that economic relief checks sent out by the federal government were also used to offset any child support payments in arrears. Any parent that was registered with the federal Treasury Offset Program had any stimulus payment they were entitled to be sent to the parent that was owed support. If the parent receiving support used government benefits to replace the unpaid child support, the money in the stimulus check was sent back to the government for reimbursement. As financial relief for child support during COVID-19 is an ever evolving and complex issue, it is important that you hire an experienced family law attorney to enforce your rights and help with your child support matter.
Talk to Our Office
Contact our Tampa child support attorneys today at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III today if you have additional questions about child support during the COVID-19 era or wish for legal assistance with your child support matter.