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When a parent’s disability affects child support payments

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2018 | Child Support |

Arizona parents who either receive or pay child support know that these funds are often crucial for covering the costs of raising a child. However, even when a noncustodial parent is well-meaning and consistent with their payments, a sudden disability can make it challenging to keep up with the payments.

When such situations arise, parents might wonder what can be done to continue with payments without falling behind. Since disability often means a reduction in income, parents who pay child support might request a modification of the court-ordered amount. When a parent does this, the court reviews the case to see if the modification should be granted. During this process, the court considers if the disability is temporary or permanent. In addition, the court looks at sources of income, including disability insurance and any additional money the payer might be receiving. Once this is done, the court decides on the modification and how long it will be in effect. If a court grants a temporary modification with the estimated time of a temporary disability, and the disability continues past that time, the disabled parent might seek additional modifications.

Parents with disabilities who pay child support might opt for the modification instead of falling behind on their payments as falling behind might lead to their income sources being garnished. This includes social security benefits. For parents who receive support, a modification often requires adapting to a lower payment amount to cover the children’s needs.

A parent going through this type of experience might benefit from consulting with a lawyer who has family law experience. An attorney can explain how the state laws work and help the parent seek the appropriate channels to resolve the issue.