One of the biggest struggles that many parents with a custody or child support arrangement are currently facing is complications due to COVID-19. If your co-parent lost their source of income and cannot pay child support due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what should you do?
Communication Is Key
First, work with a mediator or experienced lawyer like Lebovitz Law to communicate with the other parent. Could a written agreement or order be developed that allows the other spouse to stop payments until they return to work? Could partial payments be accepted until they are able to find another full-time source of income? Trying to work things out together is a great first step before you head to court.
Talk to the Court
If your co-parent was laid off or had a dramatic reduction of earnings and they cannot pay child support, you can request a modification of child support under Maryland state law. One of the instances that you can request a modification is when there is a material change in financial circumstances, which includes much of which many people are experiencing due to COVID-19.
Keep in mind that courts are still experiencing a backlog of cases, so if your request is not an emergency (which it likely is not), you may be waiting for weeks or months for it to finally be reviewed. However, filing as soon as possible is critical if you cannot pay child support because the Court can order retroactive modification. You will not be able to receive relief for the period of weeks or months that you waited to file!
Come to an Agreement
Finally, if you are able to reach an agreement as a pair, you can speed up the process rapidly by filing your agreement or consent order with the court. This can be a temporary modification while you cannot pay child support or permanent until modified again, and the court will often approve agreements much more quickly than they are able to get to individual cases where there are disputes.
Learn What to Do if You Cannot Pay Child Support in Maryland with Lebovitz Law
Whether you are searching for an experienced lawyer to assist with your landlord- tenant law case or the right place to assist with your divorce, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today at (410) 828-0680.