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WILL THE CARES ACT HAVE AN IMPACT ON MY DIVORCE PROCEEDING
April 3, 2020

Hello my friends.  This information is from the law office of Lisa Beth Older. During these days of the devastating corona pandemic, families are wondering how they’re going to make it through the end of the week. For those of you who are going through a contested divorce case, child custody case, or child-support enforcement case, these days can be especially brutal. This article is for information purposes only and is intended to give you an insight as to what is contained in the $2 trillion corona virus package that can help you help yourself and empower your former spouse to honor his commitments under the divorce or support order.

If you are the payor of the support at issue and are having trouble keeping  your small business going, you should be aware of the provisions in this act.

There is also state aid available in your state that is peculiar to your state. In New York State, for example, we have special unemployment rules that now allow not only small businesses but solo practitioners to request relief in the form of unemployment benefits.  The Federal government will also kick in additional sizable sums in an effort to bring you almost whole, at least through this pandemic, if you are unemployed as a result of this virus.

You should also know that in New York State you may enforce child support orders and Family court even though the rest of the courts may be closed for other matters. You should also know that you can still apply for Snap relief (or food stamps relief.).

But, getting back to the Care’s act. in this federal bill, if your spouse tells you that they can no longer afford to pay under court orders, you can inform them that there is protection under this act and that they should apply for it right away. As for those parents that rely on childcare centers, the Care’s act provides for immediate assistance to childcare centers so that parents can stay at work if they are essential workers. As for grants and loans, there are programs such as the payroll protection act which provides loans which, if applied towards payroll, can be forgiven in whole or part.

 

If you have children that are in college and you are paying for college under your divorce decree, students who have to drop out of college as a result of this virus will not have time from school taken from their limits on taking out  future loans. Those students that have to leave as a result of the coronavirus will also not have to pay back any other forms of student aid or grants already received by them.

 

There are other programs that your children can benefit from such as funding for the arts, and educational institutions such as universities in college. It is worth your while to read the Cares Act.

 

If you are a parent that is charged with supporting your children apply for disaster relief that is provided under the Cares act. I will detail them for you below.  But you can receive low interest loans for economic disaster relief through the Cares act and through the small business administration.

 

For individuals that are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus, there was an expansion of unemployment benefits and for individuals that are self-employed or have employees, and the new rules will allow employers to be incentivized to keep their employees in place and their businesses ongoing.  So if you are currently undergoing a divorce and the payor ex-spouse claims his business is failing or closing, and hence cannot pay under the court order, this information will be useful to you when the courts reopen if you told your spouse about these programs and he or she failed to participate in them.

 

If you are obliged to pay child support or spousal support under your divorce decree, it might be important for you to know that the following relief will enable you to meet your financial responsibility under the applicable court order or divorce judgment.

 

There are three main Cares Act programs to look into right away. 

1•            Paycheck Protection Program the government will pay the business owner 2.5 times his or her monthly payroll expense if they keep employees paid during this crisis and keep employees for eight weeks, and you will not have to pay all of it back.

2.            The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) at 3.75 percent which will be used to assist the payor spouse on a temporary or final Order in meeting payroll, pre-existing debt, rent, utilities and operating costs. There is also a very sizable operating grant you can also get up to $10,000 for businesses that have applied for the loan.

3.           Tax benefits: Your spouse may also benefit from receiving certain valuable tax benefits such as a large one time check from the government  and an employee retention credit.  There, the business must show that its operation was suspended by due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter while under government mandate. Or that they lost 50% of their revenues.  Wages paid after March 12, 2020, but before January 2021 are eligible for this sizeable credit. Moreover, the SBA will have to under this law be responsible to pay principal, interest, and fees for these pre-existing SBA loans for up to a duration of 6 months.

Next, look at your New York laws whcih have been expanded to provide relief during these trying times.

Next, now is the time for ex-spouses to try to work together to protect and provide for their families.

And if all else fails, there is always Family Court which is open for enforcement of prexisting support orders (and for domestic violence and criminal matters the criminal court is always an option.)

I hope this has been useful and stay safe and healthy and God Bless you.

Together we will get through this.  

By:  Lisa Beth Older

Your NYC Divorce Lawyer