Parents Struggling with Legal Repercussions of Government Shutdown’s Effect On Child Support Payments
The government shutdown, even though it appears to be temporarily resolved, has made the child support process even more complex than it previously was. Now, these issues are affecting a number of children and parents, as many are facing legal repercussions for failing to make child-support payments even though they have 99 cents in their bank accounts.
A number of these federal workers would normally have child support payments automatically withdrawn from their pay, however, without being paid each week for some time, this has left parents and children with gaping holes in their lists of financial needs each month. A number of non-custodial parents who have already missed payments could now not only face administrative sanctions, but also contempt of court. These parents could also face a number of additional sanctions, such as losing their professional or driver’s licenses, depending upon the state. In addition, federal contractors will not receive back pay like most federal workers once the government reopens.
Contact a Family Law Attorney to File a Modification
Family law attorneys can assist these parents in filing modifications to court orders for child support, although obtaining a hearing can take weeks, and, by the time a hearing is obtained, circumstances will likely have changed such that the modification might be useless for future payments. Still, filing for a modification is quite possibly the only option these parents have, and an option they have even after a payment has been missed.
Local & Private Assistance
In addition, it is worth working with an attorney to find out of the state department that oversees child support can handle these cases on a case-by-case basis, and instruct local offices to limit or suspend enforcement due to the shutdown. Still, these offices need to hear directly from the parents and their representatives in order to grant this leniency, and some of them are simply telling parents to “get another job.”
Some banks are also offering assistance with the government shutdown, however, you must often either be a federal worker or the spouse of a federal worker to receive this assistance, therefore, if you are divorced from a federal worker and dependent upon alimony and/or child support, you do not qualify for the assistance.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Child Support Attorney to Find Out More
Child support payments have become increasingly complex around the country due to the shutdown. Not only are federal workers finding it impossible to pay, but custodial parents who are dependent upon these funds, whose exes are already in arrears for child support, are now suffering even more, as it cannot be garnished from government paychecks that are not being issued.
Contact our Fort Lauderdale, Florida child support lawyers at Trachman & Ballot-Lena, P.A. today to find out about your ability to file a modification in order to ensure that you are not penalized and do not go to jail.