These days, all conversations in the United States are centered around the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018, with an increasing number of Americans forgetting that they still have to buy plenty of Christmas presents for their family members and friends while Christmas is just around the corner.

The partial government shutdown, which was caused by Congress’s failure to pass a spending bill over President Donald Trump’s demand to include $5 billion for his border wall project, wouldn’t be the most talked-about topic during this holiday season if it did not affect millions of American families.

The government shutdown’s impact on child support

As you may have heard by now, some more than 420,000 federal employees will continue to work during the partial government shutdown, while another 380,000 government workers are expected to be furloughed. In addition to that, dozens of federal agencies and departments will be either running on limited staff or closed until the shutdown ends.

The government shutdown has kept our Salt Lake City child support attorney from The Ault Firm busy as well. In case you are wondering, our lawyer was about to embark on his well-deserved holiday vacation when the news about the government shutdown broke in the media. Luckily for you, our divorce lawyer Salt Lake City is going to explain how the partial government shutdown, which could last well into 2019, can affect your child support payments.

Will the government shutdown affect child support payments?

One of the most common questions asked by parents receiving child support amid the government shutdown is whether child support payments will still be sent out during the shutdown. Another question on every payor’s mind is whether they will still be required to make child support payments during the partial government shutdown.

The latter question makes sense especially if you are one of those over 380,000 federal employees who have been placed on temporary leave during the government shutdown. After all, if you stopped receiving your paychecks, how are you supposed to keep making child support payments while still having to afford the cost of living and buy Christmas presents, food, water and other essential items for yourself?

Generally, child support payments are governed by your respective state. In our case, we are talking about the state of Utah. The federal government can and does get involved to enforce or collect child support only in limited situations.

“Therefore,” explains our experienced child support attorney in Salt Lake City, “The partial government shutdown will most likely not meddle with the child support system, and receiving parents will most likely be able to collect child support payments without any delays as if there is no government shutdown.”

Unless, of course, the payor gets too carried away in the news surrounding the government shutdown and forgets about making a child support payment in time.

Requesting a child support modification if you were furloughed

However, the partial government shutdown is expected to have an indirect impact on child support payments in Utah. Let’s not forget that some 380,000 federal workers will be placed on temporary leave without receiving pay until the shutdown ends.

That means many of those who have been furloughed and have an obligation to make child support payments will not be receiving a paycheck during the partial government shutdown, which means they will most likely not be able to make child support payments or will make only partial payments.

“Even if you are a federal employee who has been put on furlough during the government shutdown, your child support order will remain in effect despite the shutdown,” warns our Salt Lake City child support lawyer at The Ault Firm. So what should you do if you can no longer make child support payments during the government shutdown in 2018 through 2019?

Our attorneys advise you to request a child support modification, but only if you can prove your financial hardship or any other “substantial change of circumstances.” Consult with our lawyers from The Ault Law Firm by calling at 801-539-9000.