The COVID-19 pandemic has hit some people hard. Single parents are among the many confronting challenges including job-related struggles over the past year. While trying to earn their keep and putting food on the table, many single parents have faced cuts in hours, cuts in wages and even joblessness.
These factors prove to be major hindrances, especially if you are a single parent paying child support. You know your responsibilities as a parent. You understand the child support payments that you agreed to pay. But, under the recent circumstances, you cannot afford to pay that amount – at least temporarily. This example represents one of the rare times in which modifications to a child support payment is necessary.
Loss of income, child’s needs
Revisiting child support agreements should happen periodically. When matters change in the lives of the parents, and especially the children, adjustments must occur to accommodate everyone involved. Here are some of the factors that play into child support modifications:
- A loss in income: When a parent loses his or her job or must accept a new position at a much lower pay rate, then it is time the agreement gets a second look. Many people have lost work during the COVID-19 crisis.
- A gain in income: On the opposite end, the same holds true when someone’s financial fortunes change for the better. This may happen when a parent accepts a new job at a new company or receives a promotion with a significant pay increase.
- Changes related to a child’s needs: Children grow up, and, along with that, their needs change, too. Education expenses may include private school tuition, which usually increases each year. Other school-related fees related to the arts or sports may surface. Also, the medical needs of a child can never be overlooked. This may include braces for his or her teeth or a brace to correct scoliosis.
- A permanent disability: When this situation strikes any of the parents or the child, crucial adjustments must occur. An example: a parent who may no longer be able to work, now receives long-term disability. Or a child is seriously injured, requiring long-term medical care.
Modifications to child support agreements are not uncommon. Drastic changes often are at the root of these necessary changes geared toward benefiting the child. Fairness is critical.