Disclosures: A.M. Financial provides supporting financial information, evaluation and analysis to be utilized by the client and the client's selected attorney if directed, during the process of their divorce.  Services provided in regards to this agreement are solely fee-only and do not involve investment or security advice or insurance transactions.  All information is financial in nature and should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice.  A.M. Financial IS NOT AN ATTORNEY AND DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE.  Individuals are encouraged to seek competent legal and tax advice from professionals who specialize in divorce and tax laws in their respective state.

Investment advisory services offered through WealthSource Partners, LLC ("WSP"), a registered investment adviser.  Amy Mahlen (CRD #4692263) is an Investment Adviser Representative of WSP.  Registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not imply any certain level of skill or training.The statements and opinions expressed by A.M. Financial are those of Amy Mahlen and do not represent the views and/or opinions of WealthSource Partners, LLC ("WealthSource") or any other associated or affiliated person of WealthSource. Furthermore, the statements and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. All statements and opinions are current only as of the time made and are subject to change without notice.  A.M. Financial and WSP are independent and unaffiliated entities.

This website is a publication of A.M. Financial. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. Content should not be viewed as personalized investment advice or as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein. A professional adviser should be consulted before implementing any of the strategies presented.

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Support Obligations During COVID-19 Unemployment

March 25, 2020

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Support Obligations During COVID-19 Unemployment

The Coronavirus pandemic has sparked mass unemployment across the US, affecting numerous divorced families with court ordered support obligations.  Many unknowns remain during this time such as how long local shelter-in-place orders will remain in effect, if and how many furloughed employees will be rehired and when, and how courts around the country will view the challenges among divorced families that have surfaced.

The following are 7 tips to consider to help evaluate a loss in income as it pertains to court ordered support obligations while getting through this national and global emergency together:


1. Stay Calm & Communicate

Even during normal non-emergency periods, the best policy is to communicate your change of circumstances with your ex-spouse. Notification opens the topic for consideration for both parties to address it to the best of their abilities moving forward.Refrain from making any swift, one-sided, uninformed decisions that could create additional stress.


2. Remain Flexible

Once the lines of communication are open, remain flexible to problem solving together. Every family, married or divorced, is experiencing financial challenges and must be flexible with one another.With court systems shut down and the reality of significant future delays, flexibility and finding a middle ground maybe well worth it for everyone.


3. Consider Decrease in Expenses

Many individuals and families are experiencing a decrease of expenses which could help offset a temporary loss of income. Dining out, recreational activities, travel, general shopping, work expenses, gasoline and transportation expenditures have all been significantly minimized for many families.


4. Show Best Effort

For some couples, finding middle ground is an impossible task. Therefore, it is important to be able to show good faith regardless of which side you are on.If cash reserves are available to continue paying current obligations, it is extremely important to do so to the best of your ability.If your expenses have possibly decreased as mentioned above, it maybe worth considering your ability to decrease support for a temporary period of time to remain flexible. This is extremely important to stay out of court (who doesn’t want to?) and if court is inevitable, to show your best effort to resolve the issue in front of a judge.

5. 2019 Tax Return

If you have not already filed your 2019 taxes, it may be worth filing sooner then later if you expect to receive a refund. Even if you don’t anticipate a refund, the deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. The deadline remains April 15, 2020. Only the payment deadline has been postponed to facilitate more cash available to individuals for the next few months.


6. Stimulus Support

This week Congress has been working diligently to pass the largest stimulus package in history.  So far we expect each individual to receive a check for $1,200 if their income is below $75,000 (phases out after $99,000) and $500 per child. Many details are not yet available, especially pertaining to divorced families. For example, it is uncertain whether the $500/child amount will go to a Head of Household status filing or an individual filing who was able to claim the child tax credit for the year – many couples alternate child exemptions/credits annually. Currently, it appears the government will be relying on taxpayers 2018 returns to calculate amounts to be sent to taxpayers.

Unemployment benefits have also been considerably bolstered. Qualifying for benefits will be significantly easier and less restrictive during the next few months. In addition to the regular state benefits, checks can be expected to have an additional $600/week for up to the next 4 months to help those who are out of work.


If you are a small business owner, the stimulus bill includes $300 billion in funds available to help bridge the loss in income that many business are experiencing. More details in how to access these funds are getting ironed out as well.


7. Discuss with Attorney

If a mutual agreement can be made to support each other and your family, be sure to discuss it first with your attorney. They will be able to shed light on what could be expected with courts moving forward and if a proposed agreement maybe worth considering.


This is an unprecedented time among our family, community, nation and world.  We always have been - in this together, and we will reach the other side together.  Please contact me directly if I can be of any support during this time including connecting you to any professionals or resources.