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COVID-19: I Lost My Job and/or am Furloughed. Can I stop paying child support while I am unemployed?

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Jill C. Seiferth
April 1, 2020

The short answer is no. Many people are facing job loss, furloughs, and economic uncertainty during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. If you lose your job and/or are furloughed, the amount of child support you pay or receive typically does not automatically change, however, this may constitute a material change of circumstances that would allow you to modify child support.

To modify a child support order, the party requesting the modification must show there has been a “material change in circumstances” since the entry of the support order. A parent’s job loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be considered a material change in circumstances by the court, but you still must show that a modification would be appropriate.

A modification of child support can be retroactive to the date a petition is filed with the Court and diligently served on the opposing party, but not before. Therefore, in any modification of child support it is important to promptly file your request to change child support with the court. Oral agreements between parents to modify support do not modify a child support order.

If you have further questions, or need assistance in modifying child support, contact one of our highly experienced domestic relations attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C. at (703) 525-4000. We practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain or convey legal advice. Consult a lawyer. Any views or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and are not necessarily the views of any client.