Impact of COVID-19 on Child Support

With the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), family law attorneys, family courts, and local child support agencies are realizing the virus is likely to be impacting case participants. For some parents in Maryland, they may lose their jobs because of COVID-19, and they may have difficulty paying their child support payments. Then for custodial parents who are laid off, their need for child support may increase.

In other words, a paying parent may have lost their jobs or had their hours cut. In effect, they may be experiencing financial hardship and are worried about the negative consequences of missing payments, such as license suspension, seizure of bank funds, credit reporting, etc. On the other hand, a receiving parent whose job is affected may be experiencing financial hardship as well, and need their child support payments now more than ever.

Industries Most Impacted by COVID-19

While many industries have been impacted by COVID-19, some of those hit the hardest include retail, entertainment, services (for example, salons and spas), transportation, gyms, travel, tourism, and much more. Since so many businesses have been ordered to close their doors local public health departments, thousands of people throughout Maryland have been affected.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19 or for another reason and it’s impacting your ability to pay child support, we urge you to contact our office immediately to explore petitioning the court for a downward modification.

Since child support is not retroactive, your child support obligation will remain the same until the family court says otherwise. If you skip payments and don’t petition for a modification, you face a host of negative enforcement actions, which would only add stress to your situation.

Additionally, if you’re a receiving parent who has lost their job and your child support needs have increased, we encourage you to discuss your situation with an attorney from our firm.

Next: Can Parents Stop Paying Child Support for These Reasons?

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