The Impact of COVID-19 on Child Support
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created a financial hardship on many families. Millions have lost their jobs and others have had to work less and stay home to support children during virtual learning. As a result, some individuals have stopped paying child support payments. There are steps you can take to ensure that you are still receiving child support during this difficult time.
Modifying Your Child Support Payments
Maryland State court bases the amount a person pays for child support on the gross income of each party. A person who lost their job due to the pandemic and who is paying child support should seek out how to make modifications to their support payments immediately. However, losing a job does not guarantee that a person will be allowed to stop paying child support permanently. A person must file a motion to stop or modify payments and if payments are halted, and depending on what the court rules they must make up for past payments and any current obligations they have.
Paying Child Support on Unemployment
Millions of people have applied for and were granted unemployment benefits following the coronavirus pandemic. A person receiving unemployment benefits is still required to pay child support. But, that amount should be lower than what they were paying with their salary. However, there is no guarantee. The child support payments will come out of the income from their unemployment benefits.
How To Report Missing Child Support Payments
If you are missing child support, the first step is to contact the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) if you are receiving child support through that office and not directly. OCSS is responsible for holding people responsible to pay child support. The OCSS can garnish the wages of a person paying child support who has an income if they file for an order for wage withholding and if the obligor is a W2 employee. Other ways to ensure child support payments are suspending drivers or professional licenses or collecting tax refunds and in some rare cases placing property liens.
Contact The Capital Family Law Group for Help on Seeking Child Support Payments
During these uncertain times, if either parent loses their job and may continue to suffer from a loss of income, contact a compassionate and professional attorney from the Capital Fam Law to assist you with any of your issues or concerns. Additionally, anyone who stopped receiving support payments should also speak to one of our attorneys about recovering the amount that is owed.