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  • Jenny Lin

Support obligations during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the finances of millions of people worldwide. Many individuals have already suffered from reduced working hours while others have already been laid-off. For parents who have child support or spousal obligations facing this financial crisis caused by the epidemic, here are some ideas to help you navigate through these uncertain times:

  1. Keep good lines of communication: Payors and recipients are both feeling financially insecure right now. Share information about income changes or expectations in a timely fashion.

  2. Mitigate your losses: The government of Canada is offering emergency support for individuals and businesses. Ensure that you have done all you can access support that you are entitled to.

  3. Pivot: Our current circumstances force us to rely heavily on technology and to innovate. If you are self employed, consider what services you can offer in a safe manner. If you are unable to work consider seeking employment in non-traditional ways or explore the possibility of a new type of employment. We all have something to offer even in these uncertain times.

  4. Existing court ordered support obligations and agreements: There could come a time when as a payor you are no longer able to meet your current obligations. If you are a recipient, there could come a time when the support payments cease. If either of these issues arise, you should seek legal advice to decide how best to proceed.

  5. Treat each other with respect and try and reduce conflict: The most important thing to remember during this trying time is that everyone is negatively impacted in one way or another. Increasing stress levels with conflict about finances benefits no one. It may be that you need work together on a temporary financial arrangement.

In times like this, individuals must think long-term and about the bigger picture. Everyone’s livelihoods are in jeopardy. There are many creative ways in finding a financial solution in these trying and uncertain times, and it is best if all parties to be adaptable and flexible. Let’s all look forward not backward.

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