I have lost my job due to Coronavirus, do I still have to pay alimony? Yes, you do. If there is a court order, then you have to comply with the order or you could be held in contempt of court. Fortunately, most people who have been laid off will be eligible for unemployment at your full rate of pay for a number of months. Below some of the typical issues with alimony and COVID-19.
If you can’t pay on a temporary basis, contact your ex and let him or her (yes, in South Carolina men can get alimony) know why you cannot pay and what you are doing to ensure payment in the future. Most people will be receiving stimulus checks or unemployment and you can use those funds to catch up any arrears that you owe. The worst thing that you can do it to stop paying anything. You need to pay what you can so that if you have to appear in court you can show the judge that you have been trying and that you have paid what you could. Unless you can show that you did not have the ability to pay, you take the chance that the judge might send you to jail.
If it appears that you will not be able to pay your alimony even with the government assistance, you should contact your family law attorney and discuss filing for a modification or even a termination of your alimony. Check your court order for the specific terms of payment and be sure that the order specifies that your alimony can be modified. If there has been a substantial change in your income you can file a complaint for a modification. This requires a court filing and a hearing before the judge. Your attorney can discuss with you the best way to proceed. You will need to show that there has been a substantial change in your financial situation. It is important to get a modification filed as soon as possible even though the courts are temporarily closed. That way your attorney can argue that the modification should be retroactive to the date of filing.
Yes you should provided you meet all of the qualifications. While the Treasury may deduct for unpaid child support, they normally do not deduct for unpaid alimony.
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