Child Support Issues During the Covid-19 Pandemic
It goes without saying that the employment lay-offs, shutdown orders and general economic chaos brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in financial hardship for numerous Minnesotans and their families. When you are the obligor for a child support order the pressure can become even more unbearable.
If you’ve been laid off or had your work hours significantly reduced you need to act quick. Simply doing nothing is a very bad idea. Now is the time to switch into damage control mode because your support obligation is most likely part of an existing District Court Order. There is no general grant of amnesty to support obligors because of the current pandemic and you will remain fully responsible for your monthly support amounts. Failure to do so could result in an order of contempt, child support arrearages, accrued interest, driver’s license suspension, attorney’s fees or even a trip to the County workhouse.
The good news is that if you can’t pay the order support amidst this crisis, you can bring a motion to have it lowered. Even if it takes several weeks before a magistrate or judge considers your request, Minnesota law allows for any modification to which you are entitled to be made retroactive to the date you served your motion on the other party. The sooner you act, the better.
Over the course of my 28 years in practice, I’ve represented numerous child support obligators and under the current circumstances I’ve done my level best to focus on providing legal help to people in need as quickly and as affordably as possible. For reasons given, it bears repeating that you need to bring a proper and well-documented motion as soon as possible. You would do well to get your financial information together, including any documentation regarding the loss or reduction of your employment. I never recommend people bringing this kind of motion without a competent attorney but that’s your choice. My initial consults are free and I recommend you at least talk to an attorney you trust.