With small businesses struggling to survive due to COVID-19, The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been facilitating loans and grants for small businesses to help offset temporary loss of income due to the coronavirus. If you’re getting a divorce, believe divorce is imminent, or receive child or spousal support from a small business owner, you’ll need to act fast to lock down those funds.
The scenarios we foresee arising are those where a current or former spouse OR co-parent will claim his or her income has dropped drastically due to COVID-19. Due to this drop in income, he or she will ask to pay less in spousal or child support—either during divorce and child custody negotiations or through a request to modify support.
In the meantime, he or she applies for a Coronavirus Relief SBA loan and receives funds. Depending on the loan or grant program, he or she can then use all or a portion of those funds to replace income lost.
Why you need to act FAST and how
Those funds can move out of your ex’s or soon-to-be ex’s bank account as quickly as they rolled in. If you don’t take steps to control the portion of the money owed to you, it could disappear. Even worse, there may be nothing you can do about it if you wait. Instead, protect yourself by considering the following steps under the guidance of your family law attorney:
Step 1: Don’t assume your spouse or ex’s business is too small to qualify for Coronavirus Relief from the SBA.
There are two main SBA programs in play right now. These include the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). While there are some restrictions, these programs generally cover small businesses with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. The PPP may also cover tribal business concerns.
Get more details on the SBA’s Coronavirus Relief options at SBA.gov.
Step 2: If you know or suspect the other party has or will apply for SBA Coronavirus Relief, file an injunction to prevent funds from disappearing.
Your family law attorney can help you prepare and file the paperwork to put an injunction in place. This process can be handled without appearing in court, as can most other family law matters right now.
Step 3: If your child or spousal support was recently modified due to COVID-19, speak with your attorney about options.
You may be able to file to modify support in your favor if the other party has or will be receiving funds through the SBA Coronavirus Relief programs. In Texas, time is of the essence because modifications don’t work retroactively. They only go into effect from the date of filing.
Have questions about SBA Coronavirus Relief—EIDL or PPP—and how it will affect child or spousal support in Texas?
The experienced family lawyers at the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth are here to help. To schedule a confidential consultation with our founder Justin Sisemore, call our office at (817) 336-4444 or connect with us online. We’re also available 24/7 via the online chat tool, right here, on our website.
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