There are many separated couples who have already sought the court's assistance to renegotiate child and spousal maintenance following salary cuts and jobs losses due to the pandemic.
With fresh restrictions applying across the UK again in varying degrees, and now a possible vaccine on the horizon, what does this mean for those who are still in difficultly meeting their daily expenses in this "new normal"? It is unrealistic to think that the economy will immediately bounce back to where it was pre-March 2020 for some time yet. With the pandemic still causing financial hardship throughout the UK with many people still losing their jobs and business collapsing, what can you do if you can no longer afford to comply with child or spousal maintenance order or an assessment made by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS)?
If you pay child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) you should contact them directly to ask if you are entitled to a recalculation. Usually, you can ask for a recalculation if you have stopped working for an employer or been made redundant, if you are on statutory sick pay, which includes temporarily receiving no income while you are self-isolating during the outbreak of coronavirus, or if your income has decreased by 25% or more. If however, like Mel B, you pay or receive Child Maintenance or Spousal Maintenance in terms of a court order, you can take steps to change the order if your financial circumstances have materially changed. Whether any change is material depends very much on your particular circumstances.
So if you think this is something which you may still need to consider or that your ex-partner has requested a reduction in the amount you are receiving due to the pandemic or any other reason, and you want advice or assistance, we at Morton Fraser can guide you through the process and discuss your options such as mediation, arbitration or as last resort court proceedings.
We can provide advice in these uncertain times so please make contact with our team of highly experienced Scottish and English qualified family law specialists