Disability may impact aability to make child support payments

The child support agreement between divorced California parents may be going along swimmingly when disaster strikes. The non-custodial parent becomes disabled and can’t work. Does this mean an end to the money the custodial parent gets to support their children? Not necessarily.

In most cases the disabled parent will still be expected to make child support payments. The payment, however, may be less than what the other parent is used to receiving.

The custodial parent needs to find out if the disabled parent has disability insurance through their employer. If so, child support payments can be made out of these funds. If the disability insurance is lower than the parent’s pre-disability income, that parent can ask for a modification of the child support agreement.

The custodial parent also needs to find out if the non-custodial parent’s disability is temporary or permanent. If the disability is temporary, the support agreement can be modified for lower payments for the time the disability is expected to last.

Supplemental Security Income may also be available to the disabled parent if they are low income. The disabled parent needs to be aware this income can be garnished if they fall behind on child support payments. The parent should take steps, such as getting a modification to the support agreement, to prevent this from happening.

When the non-custodial parent becomes disabled and unable to work, they may wish to consult with a family law attorney on how best to handle the issue of child support. The attorney may be able to advise if a modification of the child support agreement is called for. If so, the attorney may be able to file necessary documents with the court to modify the agreement.

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