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What Happens to Your Child Support Obligations If You Become Disabled?


Unlike parenting plans, which are based on the parents’ mutually agreed upon preferences or on a judge’s decision about the best interests of the children, child support obligations come down to a mathematical formula.  The numbers that go into the formula are the number of overnights per year the children spend with each parent and the parents’ respective incomes.  The goal of child support payments is for the children to keep the same standard of living they had during the marriage after the divorce, which means that the standard of living should be similar at both parents’ houses.  Of course, parents’ circumstances can change after divorce, and the younger the children are at the time of the divorce, the more room there is for a significant change in the financial situation of one or both parents by the time the children reach adulthood.  If you suffer an unavoidable reduction of income, such as having to leave the workforce because of a serious injury or chronic illness, you have the right to ask the court to reduce your child support obligations.  A Boca Raton child support lawyer can help you if you are struggling to pay your court-ordered child support because your health took a turn for the worse after your divorce.

You Can Petition the Court to Reduce Your Child Support Obligations If You Suffer a Reduction in Income

The child support amount is based on both parents’ income at the time of the divorce.  If the court orders you to pay child support to your ex-spouse, you have the right to request that the court reduce or eliminate your child support obligations if you stop working for an unavoidable reason such as a layoff or a long-term health problem.  The family law courts have ruled on numerous cases where former spouses disagreed about whether one spouse was truly healthy enough to work, so your efforts to reduce your child support obligations may require you to go through an unpleasant cross examination about your medical history.  In general, if you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits as your main source of income, the court will not make you pay child support.

Personal Injury Settlements Account for Your Financial Responsibilities to Your Family

If your disability is the result of an accidental injury, you may be able to get compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for causing the accident or failing to prevent it.  In the case of injuries severe enough to cause long-term disability, the settlement amount usually includes compensation for lost income, so this may enable you to continue to meet your child support obligations.

Contact Schwartz | White About Paying Child Support in Difficult Times

A South Florida family law attorney can help you get out of unfairly burdensome child support obligations if you are unable to work because of a disability.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.




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