Everyone has been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 in one way or another, but Georgia’s stay-at-home order and widespread income loss are raising a number of questions about child support, custody, and visitation. Today’s blog post is dedicated to answering a few of the most common questions Fairell Roy & Associates has received about these topics.
Before we begin, we would like to take a moment to remind you that we are currently open and taking new cases. Many of us have more time on our hands than ever before, making right now a great time to learn more about child support, custody, filing for divorce, and the other services we offer. Please contact our office to schedule a virtual consultation.
COVID-19, Custody, and Visitation
The shelter-in-place order does not supersede previously issued orders. In other words, court orders are essential business and should not be halted at this time. In fact, Georgia’s shelter-in-place order specifically notes that custody and visitation are essential matters.
Custody and visitation orders can have serious repercussions if they are not followed as written. If you have been denying visitation due to the shelter-in-place order, we advise that you allow them. If you do not, you are violating both the shelter-in-place order and the court order.
If you have been denied visitation due to COVID-19, please contact our office to discuss your circumstances.
We have also received a number of questions regarding loss of income and child support.
Many people have been financially affected by COVID-19 in one way or another. Furloughs, pay cuts, and lay-offs have all made it difficult for many people to pay their bills, and child support from the perspectives of the payer and payee is no exception.
Of course, nobody has willingly lost their job or income during this time. However, the court will look at whether you explored all of your options and attempted to recover your income.
We advise that you pay what you can during this time. Yes, times are difficult right now, but you need to explore every avenue available for assistance. We will discuss these options in more detail below. However, if you are unable to make your current payments, you can also file for a modification to your order.
Financial Assistance Options
There are a number of options available for Georgia residents who have been financially affected by COVID-19.
Self-employed workers and small businesses, for example, are eligible for funding under the CARES Act.
If you have lost your job, you should look into applying for unemployment benefits, as the provisions and qualifications have been expanded in order to help as many people maintain their financial obligations as possible. The CARES Act has added an additional $600 from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation package to Georgia’s current employment benefits. This means that qualifying individuals could receive up to $965 in assistance per week.
Visit the Georgia Department of Labor website for more information.
Schedule a Virtual Consultation
We hope that this post has answered some of your questions about how COVID-19 is affecting court orders, visitation custody, and child support payments. Visit our Facebook page and look through our videos for live FAQ sessions in which we provide even more in-depth information about these topics. We will be doing these approximately four times per week and are happy to answer any questions you have live or through a direct message if you prefer to remain anonymous.
At Fairell Roy & Associates, we believe that our clients’ needs are of the utmost importance, and our commitment to providing you with exceptional support during a difficult time will not waver due to the current circumstances. We invite you to schedule a virtual consultation if you need to speak with an experienced attorney regarding divorce, child custody, child support, or a personal injury.