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Disability and child support payments

The amount of child support that the parent with custody of a couple's children receives is based on the income of the parent making payments. As a result, things that lead to a decrease in a paying parent's income can also lead to a reduction in their child support obligations. If an individual responsible for paying support is disabled, it is likely that they will be required to pay less child support.

People who suffer a disability will not automatically see their child support obligations adjusted. However, in situations where someone has a temporary or permanent disability, it is very common for their ability to work or earn money to be reduced. The level of reduction and how long it lasts will depend on their condition and the severity of their injury.

If someone sees their income decrease either while they recover or permanently, as may be the case in a permanent disability, they may be able to petition the court for a child support modification. Modifications will only last as long as someone's income is reduced, so once a person is able to make as much money as before their injury, their obligations should return to their previous level.

Child support modifications are available for both the paying parent and the parent receiving child support, though they usually require that one of the parents experience a significant change in circumstances. For instance, if the paying parent obtains a new job that results in an increase in their income, the parent receiving payments may be able to successfully petition for an increase in child support. A lawyer could explain what changes in circumstances may merit a child support modification.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission