The COVID-19 pandemic has created widespread changes to daily living for everyone in the United States and around the world. For many people, these changes include the loss of their job or a lowered salary due to the closure of their places of work. With the uncertainty around the extent of the economic shutdown and the speed of the recovery, some parents may be facing long-term decreases in their income and their earning ability.
Unfortunately, the child support system is not designed to manage these irregularities in the economy and in the lives of individuals. Talking to child custody attorneys in Naperville about the specifics of your case is the first step to determine how to modify child support based on the reality you are facing in this unprecedented time.
Both parents should talk to child custody attorneys if their financial situation has noticeably changed during COVID-19. Decreased income for either the parent paying child support or the parent receiving child support has a direct impact on the ability to provide for the child or children. As the purpose of child support is to maintain the well-being of the child, any changes should be as quickly as possible.
Unlike parenting time, where it is possible for both parents to agree to alternate dates and times to make a change, a child support payment modification has to go through the court. In the past, this is a relatively simple and quick process, with the judge reviewing changes in income and making modifications based on the new calculations. The parent required to pay the support provides proof of job loss or reduced income. Keep in mind, anyone receiving unemployment insurance in Naperville must show that as income.
Today, speaking to child custody attorneys does not result in a quick hearing for the modification as the courts are partially shut down. In addition, the dockets are backlogged with scheduled cases that were postponed over the last months due to stay-at-home orders. The new modifications are not heard until the backlogged and postponed modification hearings have been completed, which makes it difficult to estimate a timeline.
The same situation occurs for parents who receive child support and are requesting a modification to increase payments due to their job loss or reduced income. As this can cause significant financial stress on the family, it is essential to work closely with child custody and child support attorneys for the modification.
At Keller Legal Services, our Naperville family law attorneys have extensive experience handling complex parenting time cases. To set up a free, confidential review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.