The Impact of COVID-19 on California Family Law

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every part of our lives. Our health, society, and economy have been affected, and families are moving into uncharted territory. Regardless of where you are in your family law journey, the experienced family law attorneys of Seastrom, Tuttle & Murphy can help you through challenging times and changes due to COVID-19.

Divorce During COVID-19 in Orange County

Life during COVID-19 can be especially challenging for families emotionally and financially. The extended time families spend sheltered in place can stress an already fragile balance. Whether you find yourself in the early stages of separation or divorce proceedings or in a new phase of family law discussions due to COVID-19, experienced Irvine divorce attorney can help you during this trying time.

Due to COVID-19, many courts have closed or limited services. Of course the well being of children comes with a sense of urgency for the courts, and proceeding with family law matters to provide security for children is a priority. Once the courts reopen, it is expected that due to the health and safety concerns associated with COVID-19, court proceedings may have additional safety measures in place to reduce the spread of disease, and may even be delayed. These safety measures will likely slow the process. Our experienced Irvine family law negotiators and litigators will navigate these challenges on your behalf to reach a resolution and secure your rights in your divorce proceeding.

Child Support Modifications

Child Support obligations should not be ignored during a crisis. Business losses and economic uncertainty have caused fear in the public arena during COVID-19. Even in the best of times, if a modification of child support is needed due to a change in circumstances, this modification must involve the courts, or a written agreement prepared in accordance with legal formalities. Without the court’s approval, the modification is not official and can result in issues for both parents. Without a modification, a paying parent who has lost income during this time will still be responsible for the current child support amounts and can encounter future legal issues for nonpayment. Similarly, the child support recipient may also experience a loss and change in circumstances. Without a court-approved modification, the receiving parent may miss out on necessary funds and have limited recourse to receive these funds in the future. As child support is complicated, and modifications can involve significant asset investigation and negotiations, it is important to consult an Irvine child support attorney.

COVID-19 Stimulus Funds

Due to the economic hardship experienced by many while businesses close down due to COVID-19, the federal government provided a stimulus relief package that included checks to many adults to compensate for some loss in income. In addition, a child credit was allocated in this stimulus fund. One of the major questions is which parent is entitled to receive the stimulus credit for the child as allocated in the relief fund. Since divorced parents may trade off claiming the child as a dependent on their taxes and the stimulus check is based on federal tax returns, there may be a debate over which parent should receive the stimulus child credit. Consult with your Irvine family law attorney to determine if you have a right to the child credit, and how to go about receiving your funds.

If recently divorced and a new tax filing was not completed by divorced parents in time to reflect their divorced status prior to the stimulus checks being issued, there may be concern over one parent receiving more than their share of the stimulus check. An Irvine or Orange divorce attorney can assist with this asset allocation and protect your family’s wealth or support.

Consult with an Irvine Family Attorney

As our world continues changing due to COVID-19, Seastrom, Tuttle & Murphy is available to support your family. If you are experiencing a difficult family situation and need to secure your rights, schedule a confidential consultation with our experienced Orange County Family Law firm. You can call 949-829-4457 or get in touch online with us today.