The COVID-19 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
Based on the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH), “ nearly 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the state”.
Businesses that were closed during the peak of the pandemic have started reopening; there are still lots of people who are out of work or undergoing drastic reductions in hours.
This creates significant 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 partner cannot meet their financial obligation or refuses to make timely payments? At that point, you can hire an experienced child support lawyer to help you get what you deserve. Child support enforcement actions available include:
Wage adjustment: The court can order child support payments be deducted automatically from their paycheck.
Distribution of money from savings: If the other parent is out of work, the court can take the money they have in bank accounts to pay what they owe.
Claims on property: Applicants can claim on homes, cars, and other property, restricting them from selling it until child support expenses are paid.
Suspension of driver’s and business licenses: The threat of having their driver’s or professional employment license suspended provides a strong incentive to pay.
Situations That Could Aid Changes in Child Custody Arrangements
In addition to problems with child support payments, COVID-19 is also making it for a parent to pay child support payments. Common problems parents are likely to face include:
- Risk of transmission COVID-19 risks when visiting the other parent and their family;
- Concerns about safety precautions;
- Requiring additional help in dealing with virtual classes, which may collide with your work schedule;
- Need further support 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 problems. If they are not willing to be generous, you may need to request a child custody adjustment.
Situations That Could Prompt Changes in Child Custody Arrangements
In general, children do best when both parents play an active role in their lives. Except for the conditions that could put the child at risk, courts usually prefer child custody settlements that allow both parents to have access to the child.
Parenting plans include every detail, where the court mentioned the child spends time throughout the week and arrangements regarding visiting over weekends, school breaks, holidays, and other special events. They also specify pick-up and drop off arrangements, who has the right to make decisions about the child, and how any conflicts between the parents will be supervised. Unexpected situations that can arise and ruin your plans include:
CHANGES IN JOBS:
Depending on your child’s age, you may have modified your parenting plan to work around your schedule. Changes in hours or job area could impact your plan.
CHANGES IN SOCIAL LIFE AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS:
As a parent, you are allowed to the social life of your own. Whether it includes civic responsibilities, time spent with friends, or a new relationship, it can end up affecting your schedule.
CHANGES IN WHERE YOU LIVE:
Depending on your job and other circumstances in your life, a move may be in order. This can dramatically impact custody arrangements, mainly if it involves another city or state.
CHANGES IN FAMILY OBLIGATIONS:
Taking care of aged parents and those with severe diseases or even the birth of another child may require changes in the parenting plan
CHANGES IN THE OTHER PARENT’S BEHAVIOR:
If your partner behaves more aggressively, fighting with you and denying to comply with the parenting arrangement, you have the right to report this to your lawyer and take legal action against him. Under the Illinois Statutes, potentially dangerous activities, such as drug and alcohol abuse or violent outbreaks and other criminal behaviour types, can result in loss of custody rights.