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COVID-19 Presents Challenges in Child Custody and Support Payments 

A girl that is wearing a mask and holding her mother's hand, speak to Cook County Child Custody Lawyer to change your parenting plan during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a topic of concern in Chicago. For parents, child custody and support arrangements that were previously put in place may be harder to navigate or enforce considering the current situation. The following are common problems you are likely to encounter and the steps needed to resolve them. 

Parents Experiencing Financial Problems Due To COVID-19

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH), there have been close to 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the state. While many of the businesses that closed at the height of the pandemic have since reopened, there are still plenty of people who are out of work or experiencing drastic reductions in hours. 

This creates major problems for parents, particularly those who are divorced or unmarried and not living with their partner. Child support orders that were previously put in place help ensure children have what they need, but what happens when one spouse is unable to meet their financial obligation or refuses to make timely payments? Child support enforcement actions available include: 

  • Wage garnishment: The court can order child support payments be deducted automatically from their paycheck. 
  • Seizure of money in bank accounts: If the other parent is out of work, the court can seize money they have in bank accounts to pay what they owe. 
  • Liens on property: Liens can be placed on homes, cars, and other property, preventing them from selling it until child support debts are paid.  
  • Suspension of driver’s and business licenses: The threat of having their driver’s or professional employment license suspended provides strong incentive to pay. 

Situations That Could Prompt Changes in Child Custody Arrangements

In addition to problems with child support payments, issues pertaining to COVID-19 may be wreaking havoc with any current Illinois parenting plans you have in place. Common problems parents are likely to encounter include: 

  • Concerns over COVID-19 transmission risks when visiting the other parent and their family;
  • Concerns about safety precautions the other parent is taking, such as requiring masks and sanitizing surfaces;
  • Requiring additional help in dealing with virtual classes, which may conflict with your work schedule;
  • Requiring additional help from the other parent if you get sick with COVID-19. 

Talking with the other parent is the first step in addressing these and other parenting plan issues. If they are not willing to be reasonable, you may need to request a child custody modification.  

Our Chicago Child Custody and Support Attorneys are Here to Help

During these difficult times, the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group is here to help ensure you and your children’s rights are protected. To request a consultation, contact our Chicago child custody and support attorneys today. 

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.

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