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Modifying Alimony or Child Support Due to COVID-19 Unemployment

March 31, 2020

By: Derren Ciaglia & Terry Young 

If you have been furloughed, laid off, or otherwise had a change in income due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), it may affect your ability to meet your alimony and child support obligations. Here is what you need to know if you are currently making court-ordered alimony or child support payments:

  • In Florida, alimony and child support can be modified when the circumstances or the financial ability of either party changes. The change must be significant, material, involuntary and permanent in nature. Many individuals are experiencing significant changes in circumstances or the financial ability to meet alimony and/or child support obligations due to being furloughed, laid off, or experiencing other decreases in income as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on the economy.  

  • If you have experienced a change in circumstances or financial ability such that you are unable to meet your alimony and/or child support obligations, you may be able to reduce your obligation by filing a petition for modification with the court.

  • It is important to not delay the filing of a modification petition because the court has the authority to modify your alimony or child support obligation retroactive to the date of filing of the petition for modification. 

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This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Derren K. Ciaglia is a shareholder in the firm’s Family and Marital Law practice. She devotes her practice to family law matters, including divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, paternity matters and family law litigation involving complex financial and parenting issues.

Trained in the interdisciplinary model of collaborative family law, Derren is passionate about advocating for her clients and providing them with help and counsel during what can be difficult and uncertain times in their lives.

Derren is active in the community, currently serving on the board of directors of the Rosen Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of The Florida Bar, Orange County Bar Association, Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court and The Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida.

Admitted to practice in Florida and Illinois, Derren earned her law degree cum laude from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Michigan. While at law school, she received a Family Law Certificate and three Book Awards in perspectives of family, collaborative law, and intimate partner violence assistance. She also served as a legal extern for the Honorable Judge Maurice M. Paul of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the Honorable Judge Denise Page Hood of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


Terry Young has tried over 50 jury trials to verdict and more than 200 non-jury trials. He has more than 30 years of experience – in local, state and Federal courts – ranging from disputes over United States presidential elections to multi-national “bet-the-company” litigation, from high profile divorces to multi-million-dollar personal injury cases, from complex contract disputes to first amendment defenses.

Whether a public persona or a private family, a major corporation or a fledgling new venture, Terry represents both plaintiffs and defendants, from counseling through trial and appeal. While Terry advocates on behalf of his clients in court, he is a firm believer in dispute resolution whenever appropriate. Most importantly, whether in arbitration, mediation, divorce, or trial, or negotiating a private settlement, he has the utmost regard for clients’ confidentiality, privacy and ultimate objectives.

Sometimes those objectives are to minimize costs – even in the case of a high-profile divorce. Terry has represented a number of public figures in family law matters.

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