Hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents experienced unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you were furloughed, laid off or had to leave your job in order to care for your children, you may have experienced a significant loss of income.
If you're under court order to pay child or spousal support, the economic impacts of the pandemic may have changed your ability to make timely and full payments. If you have an order that entitles you to these payments, and the payer hasn't made them, this could have a serious impact on your life. In these situations, it's best to work with a family law attorney who can evaluate your situation and take the appropriate action to protect your rights.
Prove Your Inability to Pay
If you're required to pay child support in Ohio, the court retains jurisdiction on payment modifications. This is true in all circumstances. A major life event, such as the loss of your job, is a reason to request a change in your support obligation. You must have lost your job at least 30 days ago in order to request a change in your child support payment. If you're the recipient of child support payments and haven't received the funds, it's also important to speak with a lawyer. The court may garnish the non-payer's unemployment benefits, tax refund or other sources of income on your behalf.
Petition for a Change in Support
If you lost your job and can't pay your child support obligation, you need to work with a family law attorney. The attorney may be able to file a petition with the court to change the amount of your payments. The court will require evidence of your income, loss of employment, and proof that you're seeking a new job.
Going to Court
Ohio's courts have reopened for business. This means any requests or petitions you file will be reviewed. The courts are still working through a backlog, so your request to change your support obligation may take longer than it would have in pre-pandemic times. An attorney in family law knows how to create an air-tight petition and uses language that the court will accept. This helps your request go through the court as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Law Offices of William L. Geary is Here
It's important to speak with a family law attorney about your rights and responsibilities to pay child or spousal support under Ohio law. We are open and ready to speak with you about divorce, support agreements, and requests to change your support obligation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about how pandemic-related issues could affect your support obligations in Ohio, contact us at Law Offices of William L. Geary today.