The Coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses across the country for over a month now. According to CNBC, the number of weekly unemployment claims hit 3.84 million last week (ending April 25, 2020), bringing the rolling six-week figure to 30.3 million. Many people who are fortunate enough to still have their jobs may be faced with a reduced salary, reduced hours, or furlough as employers adjust to the declining market.
Losing any part of your income can be especially difficult if you are currently responsible for paying child support. The amount of support originally calculated based on your income at the time of the divorce agreement may no longer be feasible. Resolving the issue may be more difficult than usual due to the temporary court closures in the wake of COVID-19.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Honorable Harold D. Melton, filed a statewide judicial emergency in March that was later extended to May 13, 2020. This order has closed courts across the state, but some essential court proceedings may be handled in a way that limits the risk of exposure, such as video conference.
Unfortunately, the amount of child support dictated in your previous court order remains in effect unless you and your spouse agree to modify it.
Working virtually with a divorce attorney may allow you to modify your support order temporarily and put in writing what those agreements are to be filed once the courts reopen. This type of temporary order could specify a modified amount of support to be paid until you find a new job or your income rebounds, which would then call for a more permanent order.
If your ability to pay child support in Georgia has recently been affected due to a loss of income resulting from COVID-19, you should speak with a Family Law attorney immediately to learn more about your options.
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Trinity Hundredmark heads our Domestic Relations Division. She is an experienced attorney with more than a decade of experience representing clients. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-467-3205.