WHAT CAN I DO? I LOST MY JOB BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SUPPORT.
We have had many questions from clients who have child support and spousal obligations who have reduced hours or have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s Order to close non-essential businesses. We are getting information on a daily basis as things are changing rapidly, but nobody really knows how the courts will eventually handle this situation. The courts currently shut down except for emergency situations. Domestic Relations is the branch of the court that handles support and they are currently closed, too. Right now, the only way to request a modification of support is through the state system. All courts in southeastern Pennsylvania are currently closed, except for very specific emergencies and most of these counties’ Domestic Relations Offices are also closed. So, what should you do?
Despite the fact that most county Domestic Relations Offices are closed, you may still file a Petition for Modification online at https://www.humanservices.state.pa.us/csws/csws_controller.aspx?MGL7KJHcDYOTSfgIUErB2azbkDN6crUYgjfj4iP91@S2XCMHdlJ1jF4naNekDzQ5mWmqD@G3q@jRwrfotb@z03klYZw4YGPN5XdvdHBOlpLwDFTfqlDz
This is the statewide site, but it is the individual counties that handle support. In fact, as you will see, the site specifically states that filing online does not constitute a filing until your county Domestic Relations Office has accepted the electronic filing. So again, here we are in a unique situation. We cannot tell you whether or not Domestic Relations will accept your Petition as of the date you electronically filed through this site or whether it will be the date the specific county’s Domestic Relations Office accepts it for filing. Under these circumstances, we strongly recommend printing and saving the submission screen when filing online to show the date that you filed the Petition electronically though this website. Again, we do not know which date, at this point, the court will accept.
This is an unprecedented situation and we are facing many challenges on a day to day basis. We do not know what the courts will do or what the steps the legislature might take to alleviate some of these issues in the future.
We are here to help you. Our lawyers are working remotely and are available to you to help you develop the best plan of action for your unique situation. We are here to answer your questions and advocate for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.