COVID-19 affecting your child support payments in Florida?

covid

Child Support Payment Modification Orders

If you a divorced parent suffering financial devastation as a result of the loss of employment or reduced hours, you likely feel overwhelmed with how you will make your child support payments and contribute financially for your child’s benefit. While you may ultimately find new employment, or receive unemployment payments, the financial strain may continue for a considerable amount of time. While you have a legal obligation to continue to make your child support payments no matter your financial circumstances, you also have the legal right to request a modification to that child support order if you face substantially different circumstances. As the global pandemic continues, many divorced parents feel they have no other option other than to request a child support payment modification. If you remain unable to make your child support payment obligations, you have the option of either amicably negotiating a new child support payment plan with your child’s parent independently of the courts or submit an official child support modification request with your family court.

Court Ordered Child Support Modifications

Court order child support modifications are mandatory, and even if you have financial challenges, you have a legal obligation to make your payments. Even if you file for a child support modification with a Florida family court, until a new child support order is issued, you remain financially obligated to the payments in your established child support order from the court. Additionally, many family courts are not closed for non-essential items, which means that a decision regarding a child support modification order would take some additional time to resolve. However, if you do believe your financial status has changed substantially enough to warrant a child support modification, filing as soon as possible is important as most orders will be retroactive to the date of the filing.

Requesting a Child Support Modification From The Other Parent

Because the Florida Supreme Court’s Standing Order AOSC20-15 suspends many in-person court activities except as required for emergency reasons, many parents find that they need to work together amicably in order to resolve child support payment challenges in light of a global pandemic. If you are able to visit with the parent of your child to come to certain financial arrangements regarding child support payments in light of financial distress, it may prove beneficial to all sides. Remember to always keep an accounting of the financial payments made and consider visiting with an attorney to ensure your legal rights remain protected.

How Support Pay Can Help

If you find COVID-19 affected your ability to make child support payments, it is also likely that the needs of the child have also changed during this unprecedented time. Children that attend school virtually or homeschool no longer need school uniforms and backpacks, but rather need a better webcam or laptop in order for them to achieve academic success. Additionally, some parents may need additional financial assistance as they must stay home with their child to either homeschool or supervise them during their online school classes. As a result, these parents may possibly have to take a reduction in pay or hire someone to watch their child if they need to return to the workplace outside the home. With children’s needs changing, a child’s financial needs can also drastically change as well.

Parents can address all child support payment challenges through the unique web application SupportPay. This application creates a platform that both parents can use to create, track, and pay all childcare expenses. All financial needs and payments are handled in one place online, either on the web or through any mobile device. The entire child support payment process is not only easily managed by both parents, it also creates a complete certified record that can be used for legal compliance, court and tax purposes. As parents find that previous expenses are now longer unnecessary and new expenses are needed for their children, SupportPay allows parents to easily navigate this unique time in history.

Nearly 300 million parents in the United States exchange over $990 billion dollars every year in child support. Unfortunately, the economic impact of COVID-19 appears far from over, and using a tool such as SupportPay can provide an immediate solution to help both parents navigate child support needs, division of financial obligations, bills, payments, receipts, and communication regarding the financial needs of their child.

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