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Covid-19 impacts on NJ child and spousal support

Many people are worried about the impact of Covid-19 on child support and spousal support. You might find yourself out of work, or become aware that your former spouse has reduced hours or may have lost their job. This can be a very stressful situation for the entire family, with bills to pay and income or support greatly reduced.

There are many strategies to address the issues. All efforts should be made to open up channels of communication and discussion to see if an agreement can be reached. This is the first and best strategy. If this fails, it might be necessary to go to Court for judicial intervention.

Most people in the legal profession believe that the financial impact of Covid-19, while significant, will not go on forever. However, the traditional legal standards and laws that are used by judges to evaluate requests to change or modify support generally require a permanent change. This will create an ongoing challenge to litigants and the legal profession as to how Covid-19 applications are treated. Is this something short term, or will it go on forever. Should there be a temporary adjustment, or a permanent modification? At this point, no one knows the answer.

The federal government, on the Cares Act, did create an option. If Covid-19 has impacted an individual, they are permitted to take tax free and penalty free withdrawals from their retirement accounts if the funds are repaid in 36 months. This has created a fantastic option for families facing financial difficulties due to Covid-19.