A disability can result in great financial difficulty. This is particularly true for a parent who is financially responsible for a child or children. In the case that a parent is receiving social security disability benefits, it can affect their child support agreement in several ways. In this article, we will take a look how social security disability affects child support payments and also how you can file a claim in the court to modify child support based on your disability, or the disability of your child.
How is Child Support Affected by Social Security Disability?
The exact way in which social security benefits affect child support payments varies from state to state. In New Jersey, a disabled person is defined in 20 C.F.R. §404.1505 as “a person that is unable to do any gainful activity due to medically determinable mental or physical impairment”.
When it comes to child support, The Child Support Guidelines consider social security disability benefits as a gross income. However, this income may only be used towards making child support payments if the disabled individual is capable of earning income through other sources. If social security disability is a parent’s only source of income, and only possible source of income, they will not be required to make child support payments from this income.
If a supported child is receiving social security benefits from a state or federal agency, child support payments of the supporting parent may be reduced.
Modifying Child Support based on a Disability
In the case that the supporting parent suffered a disability after signing their initial child support agreement, they may wish to retain the services of an experienced Chatham child support attorney and petition the court for a modification of their child support agreement based on their disability.
Certain factors related to the disability of the supporting parent may allow for a modification of child support. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of job due to disability
- Financial hardship due to meager social security disability income
- The relative earnings of the parents after disability
- Extraordinary expenses such as medical bills as a result of the disability
Of course, just because one of these factors may be true in your case doesn’t guarantee that your child support petition will be successful. It is important that when pursuing a child support modification, you retain the legal counsel of an experienced Chatham child support attorney to help you draft and file court documents, present your case in an effective and compelling manner, and ensure that the child support modification process goes as smoothly as possible.
Contact a Morristown Child Support Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, we have extensive experience helping clients across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Mt. Olive, and the greater Morris County area to successfully modify their child support agreements.
Whether you have suffered from a recent disability, and need your child support agreement to reflect your changed financial status, or your child has suffered a disability and their support agreement needs to be altered to reflect this, our firm is ready to help you through the entire process.
By practicing exclusively family law, our attorneys are able to provide clients with knowledgeable, informed, current, and highly effective legal counsel in any family law matter, including child support and child support modifications.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm today regarding your social security disability or child support issue, please contact us online or through our Morristown office at 973-828-0829.