In the next couple of months, when President-Elect Joe Biden becomes President Joe Biden, significant changes will inevitably occur that will directly affect you and your family. President Biden has proposed the following policies that may impact your daily life:

President Biden’s Response to COVID-19 and Return to School Plan

President Biden’s response to COVID-19 and his return to school plan could fundamentally change parental obligations and specifically, may cause various disruptions to parenting plans.

During the campaign, President Biden often referred to the challenge facing our students, parents, and educators in reopening schools safely as a national emergency. He indicated that he intended to take a more hands-on approach than President Trump who strongly encouraged schools to reopen but left the states and local schools with wide discretion on how to make that determination. Currently, with cases again rising, states are under increasing pressure to decide if and how to safely reopen.

In response, President Biden has laid out his hands-on approach. In summary, President Biden’s plan is as follows: (1) control the virus by implementing nationwide testing and tracing, and incorporate a nationwide mask mandate; (2) direct the Centers for Disease Control to establish uniform safety guidelines for local officials to use in deciding if and how reopening can be managed safely; (3) provide schools with financial support to effectively adapt to COVID-19; and (4) ensure high quality learning based on the likely hybrid model of remote and in-person.

A hybrid model for schooling will require advanced communications and flexibility between parents. However, depending the circumstances, it may also warrant a modification to a parenting schedule. Any questions regarding parenting schedules during this turbulent time can be answered by a representative at Beermann.

The Next Coronavirus Relief Package

A payee spouse who is entitled to maintenance or child support should be aware of whether the payor spouse is eligible or receives a Coronavirus Relief Package.

Now that the election is over, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, the Senate could come to an agreement regarding the next Coronavirus Relief Package by the end of the year. Relief talks have been stalled since the summertime, though the elections results have motivated both sides to make concessions in renewed negotiations that will soon take place. To date, Congress has authorized approximately $3 trillion in coronavirus relief. Based on recent reports, the next coronavirus relief package is expected to be between $1-2 trillion and will largely be targeted to assist small businesses and individuals, provide state funding, and increase coronavirus testing.

A New Tax Policy

If President Biden enacts all or part of his proposed tax plan, it is likely that a payor of spousal or child support would be overpaying. Therefore, it is advisable to incorporate language in any agreement which permits a modification of support based on the change in tax law.

In light of the Republicans likely maintaining control of the Senate, it is unlikely that President Biden will be able to immediately follow through with some of the tax changes he promised. However, it is worth noting that President Biden’s tax plan departs significantly from the policies enacted by President Trump in 2017. The key takeaways include: (1) the top individual federal income tax rate would rise from 37% to the pre-Trump rate of 39.6%; (2) the corporate rate would rise from 21% to 28%; a 15% alternative minimum tax would apply to corporate book income of $100 million and higher; (3) individuals earning $400,000 or more would pay additional payroll taxes; (4) the maximum Child and Dependent Tax Credit would rise from $3,000 to $8,000 ($16,000 for more than one dependent); (5) tax relief would be offered for student debt forgiveness and the first-time homebuyers credit would be restored; and (6) the estate tax exemption would drop by about 50%.

Overall, whether any of the above pass or not is unknown, but feel free to reach out to your contact at Beermann, who can walk you through any important changes of which you should be aware