The pandemic has ravaged across the nation, affecting all aspects of everyday life. In addition to significant health concerns, most of the world is dealing with economic hardships. With lockdown measures in place, many working families have faced reduced hours or even layoffs. Since mid-March, 1 in 5 American workers has filed for unemployment benefits, an unprecedented statistic.
As more people experience the financial burdens associated with COVID-19, we are hearing questions surrounding child support and spousal maintenance more frequently.
Changing Child Support and Spousal Maintenance due to COVID-19
Colorado courts recognize that an increase or decrease in child support orders may be necessary after a divorce agreement is finalized. To do this, the party seeking the change must show that there is an “ongoing and substantial” change in circumstances that makes the terms of the current support order unfair. It may also be modified if the current agreement does not accommodate for the child’s medical expenses.
Similarly, maintenance (alimony) may only be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, and the spouses agreed that support would be modifiable.
Although a change in economic circumstances, such as job loss, may appear to meet the first guideline, courts will not grant a modification if that change is temporary or short term. Since the effects of COVID-19 are largely unknown, it’s difficult to say if adjustments will be allowed.
While you can file a motion and see how the courts respond, there may be a better solution. Understandably, you may not have the time to wait out the lengthy court process, and with the current backlog, it may take months for your case to be heard. Mediation can help you and your former spouse reach an agreement about a reduction in support quickly while saving you money compared to full-scale litigation.
We’re Here to Help
The reality for countless people right now is that they are unable to pay support obligations, and we want to help. If you are looking to modify your support orders, our attorney-mediator can help you resolve your issue without the stress, hassle, expense, and uncertainty of going to court.
Schedule a virtual consultation by calling Peak Mediation at (719) 259-5944 today.