What do I do if I Need Extra Child Care During COVID-19?
The outbreak of the Coronavirus has led schools all over the state of New Jersey to close indefinitely. As a result, parents are left handling child care 24/7 while trying to adjust to the new circumstances on their own. This can be very overwhelming for many families, especially if they are a family of divorce. In these situations, parents sometimes need extra assistance taking care of their children. It is important for them to know that there are options that can be considered to do so.
The first thing that should be done if a parent wishes to receive extra child care is to review their settlement agreement from their divorce. Within this should be an outline for how both parents agreed to provide child care. Child care during working hours for a working primary residential parent is a mandatory statutory add-on for child support payments. However, it is possible that some couples may have opted out of this provision or there may be no primary residential parent. There are many couples who decide upon 50/50 joint parenting time with their child and therefore agreed in their settlement agreement to be each other’s child care while the other parent is working. However, as we are living in unprecedented times during the Coronavirus pandemic, it may not be possible for two divorce parents to assist each other with child care at this time.
It is because of this that it is important to know that parents can apply for a modification of their settlement agreement with the court. If granted, this may allow for the reimbursement of child care costs or other unanticipated expenses relating to the Coronavirus.
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