COVID-19 and child maintenance payments
It is likely that many individuals who have a legal responsibility to make child maintenance payments, will be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is inevitable that certain employed and self-employed individuals are going to be losing some or all of their earned income as a consequence of the CV-19 outbreak.
It is likely that many of these affected individuals have a legal responsibility to make child maintenance payments to either their former spouses or the primary carer of their children.
Maintenance is paid from income. If income reduces then reduced maintenance payments may be legally justified.
If you pay child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency then you should contact them immediately and let them know that your income has been reduced. Your child maintenance payments may then be reduced. Do not expect this to happen overnight and it may be the case that the payments are not actually adjusted until the next financial year.
If you pay maintenance by way of a court order then, strictly speaking, a formal application to vary the amount payable should be made. If such an application is not made then arrears will accrue and these may well be enforced against you later together with default interest and potentially an adverse costs order. The court are already under resourced and an application should only be made as a last resort and dependent on how long the present situation continues.
If payments are made informally by way of a voluntary arrangement then speak to the person to whom you make the payments and see if an interim reduction can be agreed.
The Family Team at Kitsons is more than happy to advise further, you can contact them here.