7 July 2020

Family Law Series Part 3 – COVID-19 and its effects on child maintenance

If you are earning less money or have lost your job as a result of the current crisis, it may be possible to ask the court for a variation of a maintenance order, provided there is a material change in circumstances. Applying to the court for a variation of such order can be a costly procedure, so the best starting point would be to try and reach agreement between the two of you.

It must be noted that, due to the fact that maintenance is assess on the basis of needs, simply a fall in income may not be sufficient to justify a change in arrangements. Nevertheless, it may be possible if the needs of either party and any dependent children are not met.

If you are the party receiving maintenance payments and you lose other sources of income due to the current crisis, you could ask for a variation due to changed circumstances, but you will need to show the court that you have taken reasonable steps to secure other sources of income, such as applying for relevant Government schemes or finding alternative employment.

Please do get in touch with one of our experienced family law solicitors if you have any doubts regarding maintenance, whether you are paying or receiving this, as it is essential that you avoid breaching a court order without having first tried to resolve the problem.

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