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Laid Off for COVID-19: What About Child Support?

If you’ve experienced job loss due to the spread of COVID-19 and the widespread public safety measures that have been put into effect across the country, you are not alone. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, about 3,000 unemployment claims are made a day, and that number is continuously rising. The agency estimated that about 150,000 unemployment claims were made in the last week alone.

If you have been laid off from work, your ability to pay child support may be impacted, and you may be wondering what options you have available to you.

First and foremost, you still have to pay child support and we advise you to comply with all existing child support obligations until your order changes. That being said, it may be possible to seek a child support modification after you have been laid off due to COVID-19.

A child support order may be modified if:

  • A child support order is more than three years old and the amount of the monthly child support award under the order differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines; or
  • The requesting party proves that there has been a material and substantial change in the circumstances of one or more of the parties to the support order, or the child, since the date the last child support order was entered with the court or the date of the signing of a mediated or collaborative law settlement agreement on which the order is based.

A parent experiencing a reduction in earnings or total job loss due to the orders issued to help curb the spread of COVID-19 may be able to demonstrate a “material and substantial change in circumstances.”

If you have questions about your specific scenario or would like to discuss your options, please contact us today at (512) 948-3688.

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