Must You Pay Child Support If You Lost Your Job Due to COVID-19?

Many are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Are you still required to pay child support if you lost your job? Joe Vega of WIZN 106.7 is on the radio with Attorney Ben Barry of Martin, Harding and Mazzotti discussing the issue. Please give it a listen or read the transcript below.

Joe: 106.7 WIZN. It’s Queen and “Fat Bottom Girls.” You heard Skid Row “I Remember You” before that. Joe Vega here with you in your Wednesday rock and ride home. And I’m joined now by my friend Ben Barry from Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Ben.

Ben: Hello, Joe.

Joe: How are you doing today, buddy?

Ben: I’m doing great. How are you?

Joe: I’m great. At least it’s not snowing, right?

Ben: At least it is not snowing. Yes, the sun is shining. It’s a wonderful day.

Joe: Did it snow over in New York?

Ben: Oh, yeah, it snowed quite a bit. Well, I was actually over in Vermont on Saturday morning picking up bees, in fact, and it was quite cold and blustery. And it was not a good day for bees. But nonetheless, that the sun is shining now, and it looks like spring may be here to stay.

Joe: I certainly hope so. All right, let’s get to the question. All right. So, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, talking about child support. And an interesting subject came up. If you lose your job due to the coronavirus, do you still gotta pay child support?

Ben: The short answer to that is, yes. You likely still have to pay child support, but it may be based on whatever you’re receiving in terms of unemployment. You…certainly when you have a change in circumstances, that is not due to your own fault, so to speak, you can file for a modification of child support. And I think that this would certainly qualify as a change in circumstance that would then trigger a reevaluation of the amount that needs to be paid by the parent who is obligated to pay.

Joe: So, you’re still gonna have to pay, but you might be able to pay a little less?

Ben: Yes, what you would be paying would be based on whatever income you are now receiving. But again, there are other considerations that the court can take into account. For example, if you lost your job with business A, but your skills would allow you to be hired by business B, and you’re just choosing not to do so, there may be an issue there. But if you simply…your skill set is no longer marketable, and your company has fired everybody. And you’re simply collecting unemployment, and you don’t have any reasonable availability for new employment that would allow you to obtain the income that you were making prior to the unemployment, then yes, you would have a basis for modification.

Joe: Okay, so there we go. Bad news for my friend. Good news for his kid. That’s a joke.

Ben: Yes.

Joe: All right, Ben. Thanks a lot.

Ben: Thank you, Joe.

Joe: Ben Barry from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Ben: Have a great day.

Joe: Oh, come on. Everybody has got that friend, right? Remember, you can call Ben at anytime at 1-800-LAW-1010, or go online to 1800law1010.com. Stay tuned. Mel Allen is taking over. He’s got music from Van Halen and Led Zeppelin next.

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