COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes lawyers help separated families deal financially with temporary or long term layoffs, job losses, and self-employed business collapses. Many people now ask our top-rated family lawyers: How does COVID 19 affect support payments? Recent press articles n what will be a contentious issue are popping up daily.
Right now the pandemic means people may lose their homes, or a person may refuse to self-isolate because they are so desperate to earn money to pay their living expenses and child and spousal support. What if shared custody payments are based on the set-off of each parent’s wages one or both of which may have disappeared? Senior Vancouver family lawyer Tal Wolf has a plan to help reduce the stress on separated families.
MacLean Law’s 6 COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes lawyers’ offices are all open for video and telephone consultations and emergency court applications can be made in cases where circumstances involve hardship to paying spouses, recipient spouses and children. We can also help negotiate reductions and deferrals before the arrears become unmanageable or children and parents cannot survive financially. Call our COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes lawyers now at 1 877 602 9900.
COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes
How does COVID 19 affect support payments? And how does COVID 19 Support Payment Reduction Deferral work? Many of you with monthly payments of all kinds during the COVID-19 pandemic have wondered whether your creditors, landlords, banks, etc. will allow your payments to be deferred or reduced given the global crisis. These include child support and social support payments. After all, can’t we all be excused from our payments if there’s a virus going around and the government is ordering us to stay home? The answer is, of course not!
Families and children are too important. If you are under court order to make these payments, unless and until you have the order varied according to a duly filed written application and the hearing, you cannot and should not breach the terms of your support order by paying less than what is normally owed monthly. COVID-19 does not automatically excuse or justify a deferral or refusal to pay child support or spousal support. Ignoring the reduced income and not taking action hurts your chances for a COVID 19 Support Payment Reduction Deferral. FMEP can take aggressive actions if you fall behind on payments and do not take action. Contact MacLean Law’s Coronavirus 19 support lawyers so we can negotiate a proper support amount.
How does COVID 19 Affect Support Payments? 1 877 602 9900
But what about those of you who simply cannot afford to pay? There is only so much money to go around for your rent, your food, and your utilities and medicines, in addition to your support payments, right? Here are the top five suggestions by Tal Wolf of MacLean Law’s Vancouver office if you have already decided that you cannot make your support payment and you are involved in a COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes case:
Document, document, document (your situation)! Keep careful track in an Excel spreadsheet of your entire budget month-to-month showing exactly how much you have to pay and to whom, and thus how your monthly paycheque normally would have been divided. This will help you to justify both to yourself, and eventually to your spouse, their lawyer, or a judge that you do not have sufficient funds to make the support payments.
Be prepared to show your entire safety net and its limits (savings, personal loans, credit facilities, financial aid, government benefits), to make the case that you could not have made the support payments. Also, save a copy of all applications for unemployment assistance or other national/provincial COVID help.
Be prepared to show how you are rearranging your monthly budget so only the highest priority of expenses are getting the first dollars from what you have available. Remember, the people you support are dependent on your money, so their needs will be deemed high-priority by any court, perhaps only behind your rent, food, utilities, and medicine. Your other creditors may need to be put at the back of the line, behind your spouse and child.
If you simply cannot make your support payments, there is a difference between making no payment at all versus paying a portion of what is due. Be prepared to show that you are trying to pay as much of the support as you can. Eventually, it will be up to a judge as to whether to completely excuse the amount that you could not pay or to make you compensate for any arrears later on. You will be looking to the courts to be reasonable and fair to both sides – your goal is to make it as easy as possible for the judge to do that.
Give your spouse a heads-up NOW! A common theme in contempt applications is the “surprise and shock” to the recipient when they find out after the support is already late that you had no intention of paying it. This circumstance can cause far more harm and distress than just the nonpayment, because your spouse will not have had the opportunity to prepare their safety net, or to make arrangements for getting their own needs (and your child’s needs) covered. You must do everything you possibly can to minimize the damage to your spouse and child, or you might suffer extra penalties and costs when the judge reviews the situation later.
Having tough conversations early on can help lead to a negotiated settlement of any potential COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes.
COVID 19 Coronavirus Family Lawyers Can Help 1 877 602 9900
Coronavirus spousal support lawyers and COVID Child Support lawyers can help if you call us at 1 877 602 9900.
Eventually, you may need to have your support Order changed to accommodate your new financial reality, whether you can or cannot make up for payment deficiencies. There are restrictions on court hearings right now but it is important you provide written notice to your spouse of any need for a COVID 19 Support Payment Reduction or Deferral. Call MacLean Law 1 877 602 9900 without delay so that we can answer your questions, come up with a reasonable plan to minimize the impact on your family overall, and start making arrangements for the support amount to be addressed as soon as the Courthouse reopens its doors or earlier if you have an urgent COVID 19 Changing Support Payment Disputes case.
COVID 19 Varying Support Payment Disputes Lawyers
Breaking News- New COVID 19 Support Case
Baker v. Maloney, 2020 ONSC 1929 (March 27, 2020) This case involved a husband who missed two court-ordered March deadlines to pay spousal support arrears via bank draft. Taking notice of the COVID-19 situation, the Court gave the husband until April 7, 2020, to provide a replacement draft “as long as it was safe to do so” and expressed hope that circumstances may return to normal by that time. The Court also noted that while the husband’s advanced age might make it difficult for him to obtain the draft, he is still required to comply with Court Orders.
We hope Tal Wolf’s blog on How does COVID 19 Affect support payments can lead to useful negotiations and prompt applications to set fair spousal and child support will help minimize the shock and distress on both sides of the family financial table.