How is COVID-19 Affecting Child Support?

Article 12 May 2020

COVID-19 has had a great impact upon families, especially separated families.  You may be worried or confused about how COVID-19 might affect you and your family. Sometimes a crisis can exacerbate any existing legal problems or new problems might develop.

We understand that there are many questions about family law issues, parenting and staying safe through the Coronavirus pandemic. We can assist you with helpful information and provide contacts to support you and your family with managing the changes that are happening in our community.

In addition to significant health issues during this time, separated parents may be experiencing increased stress levels regarding care arrangements for their children and providing financial support for their children's day-to-day needs.  Many people have lost their jobs which has impacted their ability to pay child support, and parents that receive or pay child support have no idea on how to deal with this.    

It is important to know what your options are and where you stand to ensure that you can make sound decisions during this difficult period. If you pay child support, you should ensure that you do not end up with enforcement action being taken against you down the track, if you miss and/or stop making payments for whatever reason.

If your income has been reduced or you have lost your job, it is important that you contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) for a reassessment of your child support obligations. This is important because the child support formula takes into account each parent’s current income.

If you do not contact the DHS, regardless of your change in income, your child support obligations will remain the same. If you fail to follow your child support obligations, this will result in the accumulation of arrears and may attract penalties.

If you have an existing Binding Child Support Agreement, we recommended that you seek clarification as to whether the terms of that agreement remain in force, or if they provide for a variation or suspension of the terms, in the circumstances.

At Colin Daley Quinn, we are committed to providing services to assist you in understanding your obligations and helping to minimise your stress during this time. We have a dedicated and experienced Family Law team that you can rely on to look after your best interests. 

For more information on how we can assist you, please contact us on ph: 02 8566 2400