My Job or Income Changed – How Do I Adjust My Support?
Spousal Support and Child Support in an Economic Downturn
At The Law Offices of Michael L. Maguire & Associates we work with clients in all phases of the divorce and family law process. Whether you are just facing the initial divorce process or are reviewing child or spousal support orders, we can help you get the best possible outcome that California family law allows for you and your children. Contact us today to talk about how we can get the process started for you.
Support, Job Loss and a Bad Economy – Family Law in Corona’s Aftermath
If you or your ex-spouse / co-parent has recently lost a job (as millions of Americans have during the Corona virus outbreak and resulting economic downturn) you very likely will have to go through a review process to get a court ordered modification. While there are other temporary solutions, they are ultimately “unofficial” and will NOT stand up in court. We will try to cover a few example scenarios and why they can be problematic.
A Business Owner or High-Income Earner Takes a Pay Cut
If you are a business owner or simply someone who has a high income that has been interrupted by the economic downturn, you may have asked your ex-spouse or co-parent to temporarily accept a smaller amount for child or spousal support. While it is good to be able to find a solution without a lawyer or getting the courts involved, this can prove to be a big mistake. Court-ordered support can only be modified by a court order. This means that if your spouse wanted to go back and report that you had been underpaying, they would be able to. Your verbal agreement, or even written agreement will not hold up and you may be subject to thousands of dollars in back-support as well as penalties and interest.
If you need to work with your spouse on adjusting a support order, make sure you work with a lawyer to ensure that the adjustment holds up and doesn’t cause bigger problems down the road.
You Are No Longer Receiving Support from your Ex-Spouse or Co-Parent
There are a lot of cases where a job loss results in support payments NOT being paid. There are a few solutions here depending on the specifics around your situation. Collection of non-paid support is difficult. What’s important is to make sure that your support orders are legal and binding so that when there are funds available the county will help you secure them.
If You Feel You Are Paying Too Much Child Support or Spousal Support
If your income has changed due to the economic downturn getting a new support order is critical for protecting yourself financially. Do not make the mistake of waiting and letting your support go into arrears. Contact a family lawyer who is experienced in negotiating great financial outcomes for his clients, Michael L. Maguire.