Berman & Asbel, LLP

Child Support And Disabled Parents

A Pennsylvania parent who relies on child support can be seriously affected when the paying parent sustains a physical disability. Custodial parents and those who are required to pay child support should know how courts may handle these payments if such a situation occurs.

If a disabled parent receives disability benefits from an employer, he or she will generally be expected to continue to pay child support. However, since disability benefits are usually less than a person's regular pay, custodial parents should anticipate they will receive less child support.

The permanency of the paying parent's physical disability is also important. If the disabled parent's condition is medically considered temporary, he or she can ask the court to temporarily modify child support while he or she is unable to work. In contrast, if the impairment is permanent, then the court may permanently modify the support. In all cases, however, the payment amount will depend on how much the disabled parent receives from his or her disability benefits and on any other income the parent takes in.

Parents should also know that courts can garnish disability benefits paid by an employer and the disabled parent's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for any current or overdue child support. This practice ensures that at least a portion of the child support owed is paid.

Parents struggling with any child support issue should consult a family law attorneys. A lawyer may request a that a child support order be modified if either parent's financial situation changes significantly. An attorney may also request enforcement measures for delinquent support payments.

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