Family Law and Divorce Attorneys in Virginia

COVID-19: Can My Child Support Be Suspended?

It seems like the coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting every business large and small as people are ordered to stay in their homes and not visit movie theatres, gyms, shopping malls, schools, coffee shops, bars, amusement parks, and so on. Not that they could visit any of these places anyway since so many businesses have shut down.

The layoffs have left millions of Americans out of work. From big cities like Virginia Beach, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, to small rural towns in farming communities, virtually every city has had empty streets and resembled a ghost town at some point in recent weeks. But as more people are laid off, it’s not true that every industry will suffer a negative financial impact from the pandemic.

Healthcare, for example, is expected to continue going strong amid the pandemic, meanwhile, people who work in retail, travel, dining, hospitality, transportation, warehousing, oil and gas extraction, salon services, and entertainment are very likely to watch as their income slows down or comes to a grinding halt. For parents who pay child support, this interruption in income causes problems with their local child support agency.

Can Child Support Be Suspended?

State governments may have taken action to delay or suspend foreclosures and evictions so families don’t experience homelessness because of the coronavirus, and credit card companies and lenders may have offered flexible payment options to borrowers, but that’s not the case with local child support agencies.

If you lose your job and you skip your child support payments, the local child support agency will not give you a break by suspending or delaying your payments. And if you don’t pay, it won’t look the other way. If a parent falls too far behind on their child support payments, they face an array of negative enforcement collection efforts, such as:

  • Driver license suspension
  • Denial of U.S. passport
  • Withholding of stimulus check
  • Professional and recreational license suspensions
  • Bank account seizures
  • Real estate liens
  • Wage garnishment
  • Negative credit reporting

Lost your job because of the coronavirus? The worst thing to do is to stop paying. Instead, contact us so we can help petition the court for a downward modification. Child support is NOT retroactive, so it can’t be adjusted from the date you lost your job. What’s more, you are responsible for support, even if you’re unemployed, disabled, mentally ill, or sick in the hospital with the coronavirus. To get started on a modification, contact our firm today.

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