We are just beginning to experience the financial impact COVID-19 is having here in NJ. Many retail stores are temporarily closing as are salons, barbershops, and many other business. We wish them all a strong comeback when this passes. Many are wondering about the impact on their job and income. Whether you are paying or receiving alimony and or child support, the impact of these shutdowns and the economic slow down are cause for concern. In line with my advice on custody and parenting time, it is critical that both sides be reasonable and proactive.
Orders for alimony and child support remain in place and enforceable until changed by a subsequent court order. One can normally not engage in “self help” and simply stop paying. The recipient relies on receipt of the funds for important household expenses including expenses for the children. Under normal circumstances, if a consent order memorializing an agreement between the parties cannot be created, it can take 25 days or more to obtain a judicial determination after a motion has been filed. In the current environment, getting that order will undoubtedly take longer. As such, coming to an interim, mutually acceptable arrangement is advisable if the payments cannot continue in full or if at all. I would not suggest that anyone waive or relinquish funds they’re entitled to and I would hope that no one paying support will exploit this crisis for financial gain.
If you have concerns about the alimony or child support provisions of your case, The Durst Firm remains accessible to assist.