Issues With COVID-19 Call for Divorce Modification
As the coronavirus forces changes to our normal way of life, so too may a divorce order need to be adjusted. Call a family law attorney today to learn more.
During the coronavirus outbreak, which is ongoing and seems to have no identified end-date in sight, people have had to adjust to working from home, giving up social gatherings, wearing a mask in public places, and more. For parents, adjusting to the new way of life may be especially challenging, and for divorced parents, this statement rings even truer. At the law office of John Powell III, P.C., our family law attorney recognizes that a child custody arrangement that you and your ex-spouse maintained prior to COVID-19 may no longer be appropriate in today’s reality. Even for those who do not have children but who are divorced, parts of the divorce settlement may no longer be sensible. If you need a modification of a divorce order, please call our law firm today.
Divorced Parties are Struggling During COVID-19
Those who are divorced and have a divorce settlement that dictates things like spousal support, child support, and child custody may be impacted by COVID-19. Here is how:
- An order for spousal maintenance may no longer be appropriate if the spouse making maintenance payments has had their income severely disrupted by the pandemic. For example, if the maintenance-paying party lost their job and is unable to secure new employment during the pandemic, the court may recognize that a significant change in circumstances has occurred and temporarily release the party from these obligations as such.
- An order for child support may also be adjusted for the same reason as adjusting an order for spousal maintenance: the loss of a job during the pandemic and the subsequent loss of income necessary to continue making support payments. If parents have adjusted their custody arrangement during the pandemic--for example, if parents are now sharing custody 50/50 or if the parent who did not have primary custody now has custody full time, this too might be cause to adjust a child support order.
- An order for child custody may need to be adjusted due to the pandemic. One parent who normally has custody may no longer be able to provide full-time care if the child is no longer going to school or daycare as a result of pandemic-forced closures. There may also be more contentious reasons for seeking an adjustment of a child custody order. For example, one parent may be very uncomfortable with the other parent’s decisions and lifestyle related to social distancing and may not want the child spending time with that parent as such.
How to Seek a Divorce Modification
Typically, in order to seek a modification of a divorce order, a party must prove that a significant change in circumstances has occurred. For child custody-related matters, a parent may also be able to seek modification by proving that their substantial harm to the child is likely to occur based on the current arrangement. COVID-19 has dramatically changed life for many, a fact to which most courts are sympathetic.
Call Our Pearland TX Law Firm Today for Support You Can Trust
If you have questions about modifying a divorce order during COVID-19, our experienced team is here to help. We provide personalized services and our Texas family law lawyers have more than two decades of experience. Call today or send us a message to get started.