Child Support And Stimulus Checks: What You Need To Know

Posted on January 19th, 2021 in Child Custody/Support

While the IRS has stopped sending out the second round of stimulus checks in the amount of $600, President-Elect Joe Biden has already begun plans for a third stimulus check. This round of stimulus would supply American’s with an additional $1,400. While the stimulus checks have given some financial relief to those struggling as a result of the novel coronavirus, there is something parents need to know if they’ve fallen behind on child support payments.

Child Support and Stimulus Checks

Since the onset of COVID-19, 1.1 million jobs in Pennsylvania have been lost–while at least half have returned to the Keystone State, many Pennsylvania families are falling behind on bills because of employment issues.

When a parent is behind on bills, it can become troublesome for the entire family, but when a parent falls behind on much-needed child support payments, it can quickly become damaging.

However, stimulus checks received from COVID-19 relief efforts have since been labeled as income and thus can be garnished to pay back delinquent child support payments. But because stimulus checks count as income, can it impact your future support payments?

The answer is, probably not. Because stimulus checks fall under income under Pennsylvania’s support guidelines in Rule 1910.16-2(a)(8), they are not only eligible for garnishment, but they can be added to the total amount available to pay support. However, because both parents will have likely received the stimulus check, it won’t impact the support order. In addition, the checks seldom cover what income is lost due to termination, layoffs, etc.

Because of this, it’s important that parents address their reduced income states, even if the stimulus check covered the delinquent payments.

Child Support Modifications

We all hoped that the impacts of COVID-19 would have been long forgotten at this point; unfortunately, a year later, we are still navigating its turmoil.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t seek relief. If you have experienced a reduced income rate as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to modify your child support payments. Remember, a verbal modification won’t stand up in court–you’ll need the experience of a family lawyer who can guide you through the child support modification process to ensure you are able to support your child without falling into financial ruin.

Stimulus Checks, Child Support, and Modification Agreements: Kalinoski Law Offices

Whether you have fallen behind on child support payments or your ex hasn’t paid support since the onset of COVID-19, know that stimulus checks can be garnished for those back payments. In addition, if you know you are not yet financially able to return to previous support agreements, you may be able to modify your current plan.

At Kalinoski Law Offices, we know that the implications of COVID-19 have impacted every facet of life. But we want to help your family regain stability in these uneasy times. If you have questions about child support payments or what modifications you may qualify for, contact the Scranton family law attorney, Craig Kalinoski, for a free consultation.

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