The Government Shutdown: Federal Workers Struggle to Pay Child Support

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During his election campaign, Donald Trump circulated many contradictory statements and promises about how he would build a border wall to “end the humanitarian and national security” crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, both Congress and Mexico refused to fund his $5.7 billion border wall, prompting the president to order the longest government shutdown in American history.

A Temporary Ceasefire

Political resistance, global mockery, and a 34% public approval rating finally pressured Trump into ending the partial government shutdown on January 25, 2019. Unfortunately, the president still hasn’t given up on fulfilling his signature campaign promise. The deal developed by Congressional Republicans and Democrats will only keep the government open for three weeks. President Trump is confident that future negotiations will provide him with the funding he needs to build his wall; but, if not, he may just have to shut down the government again.

Is Child Support Affected by the Government Shutdown?

During the initial partial government shutdown, 400,000 employees were furloughed, while another 400,000 were forced to work without pay. The latter finally received their first partial paychecks this week when the government finally reopened.

In the past few weeks, many of these workers have been forced to rely on emergency support programs just to get through this difficult time. Some have even needed to seek additional employment opportunities just to stay afloat financially.

However, federal workers with court orders are still required to pay child support regardless of rain, shine, or government shutdowns. If you’re one of these parents, it’s important to plan ahead and discuss your legal options with an attorney.

A parent can suffer the following legal penalties for failing to provide child support:

  • Costly fines
  • Bank accounts may be seized
  • Income tax refund may be seized
  • License suspension
  • Jail time

Of course, this doesn’t mean the court is unaware of the political climate or unsympathetic to your plight as a federal worker. It’s just that the court is obligated to prioritize your child’s welfare above all else. If your financial situation has permanently changed, you may be able to modify your existing court order to reflect your change in circumstances.

As you likely know, Florida’s Child Support Enforcement Division is responsible for enforcing actions against parents who fall behind on their payments. If you’ve recently received notice of an enforcement action, it’s recommended that you retain a lawyer and contact the Child Support Program. By discussing your case with the Florida Department of Revenue, you may be able to develop a plan that allows you to comply with your support order.

Seek Legal Representation Today

At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., we understand that this is an overwhelming and difficult time for you and your family. Fortunately, our Clearwater child support lawyers can help you navigate this challenging catch-22 and resolve your support issues. In fact, our founding attorney, Konstantinos Dean Kantaras, is a talented litigator who is Board Certified in Marital and Family Law. When you’re facing a complex legal situation, turn to a legal team with the skills and experience to secure a positive case outcome.

Safeguard your standard of living and protect your loved ones today. Call K. Dean Kanataras, P.A. at (727) 939-6113 to schedule a consultation. We serve families throughout Florida.

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