Stimulus Checks: Great For Kids, Not So Great For Parents Who Owe Child Support
The purpose of the stimulus checks issued during the COVID-19 pandemic was to help people survive the worst of the economic shutdowns intended to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even before the pandemic, everyone was in debt, so if there had been a rule that creditors get first dibs on the money before it reaches the intended beneficiaries, the only people who would receive a stimulus check in the mail would be the ones who needed it the least. The idea was that everyone except people who already have enough money to soften the blow of the pandemic gets to choose what to do with the money. Unsurprisingly, hardly anyone splurged their stimulus check. Those who needed it for necessities like groceries and utility bills used it for those purposes, while others put it toward savings or debt repayment. The one debt where creditors could simply seize the stimulus money instead of letting debtors pay it in the amounts they chose was unpaid child support. If you are struggling to meet your child support obligations, you have the right to petition the court to modify your obligations, even retroactively, before the most severe measures, like income garnishment, occur. A San Jose child support lawyer can help.
The California Parents Whose Stimulus Checks Went Straight to Child Support Debt
In California, unpaid child support obligations accrue interest, just like any other debt. That means that, long after your youngest child has turned 18, the court can require you to pay your ex-spouse more money than it costs to raise your children. The idea is that, while you were unable to pay, your ex had to get the money for your child’s expenses somewhere, most likely by borrowing, unless they got a much better paying job after the divorce than they did while you were married. While it may be fun for the 99 percent to daydream about how much child support the court will order Kanye West to pay Kim Kardashian (or the other way around), unpaid child support is a much bigger problem for low-income families.
Parents who are behind on child support are in a no-win situation, as are the parents to whom the child support payments are owed. When a parent applies for public assistance, the state spares no effort in taking the money from a parent who owes child support, in order to reduce the burden on taxpayers. Meanwhile, if you are having your paychecks garnished, it is not easy to get to a financial position where you can afford your child support obligations without Uncle Sam reaching into your bank account, no matter how hard you work. The Californian recently published a report about Billy, Gabriel, and Stacy, three California dads who have struggled during the pandemic, in large part because their stimulus checks went directly to long-overdue child support obligations.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
If your financial situation is untenable because of your child support obligations, a San Jose child support lawyer can help. Contact Foster Hsu for help today.