Will The Government Shutdown 2018-2019 Affect Your Divorce Case, Child Support, Or Alimony?

The U.S. government has officially entered a partial shutdown over Congress’s failure to pass a spending bill by Saturday midnight, leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans wondering what will happen to their divorce case during the government shutdown.

If you have an open divorce case, you have come to the right place, as our Salt Lake City divorce attorney Emy A. Cordano is going to explain how the partial government shutdown in 2018 through 2019 might affect your divorce case.

Preface: What caused the government shutdown on Dec. 22, 2018?

For those of you living in a cave, it all started with President Trump’s insistence to include $5 billion for the construction of a border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite Democrats’ initial reluctance to play by the President’s rules, Democrats eventually offered about $1.3 billion in border security to prevent a government shutdown. But Trump said no.

The House and Senate had to pass a federal government-funding bill by Saturday midnight but failed to do so over the lack of consensus between Democrats and Republicans. As a result, the U.S. government entered a partial shutdown affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The government shutdown’s impact on federal agencies and departments

More than 420,000 federal employees will have to continue working during the government shutdown but expect no pay for the days worked during the shutdown until after it ends.

Another 380,000 government workers across dozens of federal agencies, meanwhile, will be furloughed and placed on temporary leave without receiving pay.

With dozens of agencies and departments running on limited staff or closed, it begs the question, “How will the government shutdown affect your divorce case?” Will your divorce proceedings be impacted by the partial government shutdown in 2018 through 2019? These are the questions we asked our divorce attorney Salt Lake City. Here’s what she had to say about all this.

How will the government shutdown affect your divorce case?

Since about 70 percent of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees have been placed on temporary leave during the partial government shutdown, expect a possible slowdown in your divorce proceedings. Even though the IRS still accepts tax payments despite the shutdown, the agency’s helpline staff have been furloughed, which means you will most likely not be able to call the IRS helpline and get help in collecting tax records and other financial documents required for your divorce case.

While the IRS will not be able to answer your questions about filing taxes when getting divorced in Utah or elsewhere in the U.S., our divorce attorneys will. Schedule a legal consultation with our Salt Lake City divorce lawyer by calling at (801) 901-8159.

Also, if you are expecting a tax refund check as part of your divorce settlement, you might have to wait longer than usual because the IRS has limited staff in the refund processing department during the government shutdown.

Will the government shutdown impact child support and alimony payments?

If you are one of those federal employees who have been furloughed during the partial government shutdown in 2018 through 2019, you might be concerned about keeping up with your child support or alimony payments. The same goes for the receiving spouses who are out on furloughs: the child support payments (or lack thereof) pay not to be enough to afford the cost of living or cover the child’s expenses.

In that case, if the government shutdown lasts for longer than expected (President Trump has recently warned that the shutdown could last a “very long time,” as reported by NBC News), you may want to consider filing a petition to modify the existing child support or alimony order.

Low-income and poor families receiving benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the federal level may be cut off from emergency welfare assistance and not be able to afford food.

For those of you wondering, our divorce attorney in Salt Lake City Emy A. Cordano says that social security payments, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits will not be affected by the partial government shutdown.

Schedule a legal consultation with our lawyers to learn more about how the government shutdown might affect your divorce proceedings in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah. Call our offices at (801) 901-8159 today.

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