If someone is paying child support and becomes disabled, they are likely to end up with a smaller child support obligation. Child support obligations are tied to a person’s income, and many individuals who are suddenly faced with disabilities see their ability to work reduced.
As a result, non-custodial parents who become disabled are likely to be able to successfully petition the court to reduce what they are supposed to pay through a child support modification request. However, a reduction may not be automatic or permanent. The duration of the reduction in payments will depend on the expected length of a person’s disability.
While parents receiving child support may see a reduction in payments, this is not always the case. If the non-custodial parent has not kept up on payments but does receive benefits, some of that money may go toward the past-due payments. Both Supplemental Security Income and disability benefits may be garnished to bring child support payments up to date.
If a couple divorces with children, custody and child support can either be determined by the couple using collaborative family law methods, such as a mediated divorce, or by the court. One major advantage of a collaborative divorce is that a couple can determine how they want to deal with child support, alimony and asset division. If the divorce is litigated, these decisions will likely be made by a judge. A lawyer could explain the way the court may decide issues during a divorce and represent a client during any type of divorce proceeding.