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Child support orders must be followed, even after a disability

Divorced parents often find themselves struggling in various ways. While you may immensely enjoy the ability to take care of your children and see them grow, you may also have a difficult time with finances. However, at the time of your divorce, the court ordered that your ex-spouse pay child support, which you feel helps provide for your kids.

Now that the other parent has recently developed a disability, you may worry about the impact that issue will have on your child support payments. While the other parent may not have the ability to work or work at the same job, it does not mean that he or she is completely excused from making support payments as dictated in the court order.

Disability insurance and benefits

If the disabled parent has disability insurance or receives other disability benefits, a portion of those funds could go toward child support. If a parent fails to make those support payments on time or otherwise gets behind, the court could potentially order wage and benefit garnishment for support payment. Therefore, you as the custodial parent should still expect to receive at least some of the child support to which you are entitled.

Support modifications

Because a disability may impact the other parent's income, that parent may attempt to obtain child support modifications through the court. If the parent can present evidence that he or she has experienced a change in circumstance, the court may review the case and change the terms of the current support agreement. If a change does come about, you may need to accommodate for a lower support payment than you previously received.

The length of time this modification could remain in effect may depend on the duration of the other parent's disability. For instance, if the disability is temporary, the new support arrangements may also only last temporarily; if the disability is expected to remain permanent, the modification may remain permanent as well.

Managing support issues

Though you may feel for the other parent and the disability from which he or she suffers, your children and your ability to provide for them remain your top priority. If you find that the other parent has fallen behind on child support payments or may be requesting a modification, you may want to look into your legal options for handling this type of situation so that your children do not unnecessarily suffer.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
471 Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052

Phone: 716-243-3515
Fax: 716-652-2058
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