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How disability might affect child support

If Georgia noncustodial parents who are under a court order to pay child support become disabled, the custodial parents might wonder whether they will continue to receive those payments. If the disability means that the noncustodial parents will no longer be able to pay the same amount of child support that they paid previously, they will need to go to court to ask for a modification in support. The parent will continue to be obligated to pay the same amount in child support until this modification is approved.

If the parent is temporarily disabled, the modification may be temporary. However, even if the parent is on disability benefits or receives Supplemental Security Income, the parent might still be required to pay child support from either of these.

Furthermore, if the parent does not pay support, benefits from these program can be garnished. While SSI cannot be garnished to pay most debts, it is still vulnerable to child support. Therefore, a person on disability should be careful about not falling behind on child support payments. If parents are permanently disabled and it prevents them from returning to their previous job, the custodial parent might have to adjust to getting by on less child support.

Parents who are struggling to collect child support for any reason can get help as long as they have a legally binding agreement in place. The parent can ask for an attorney's help in seeking enforcement of the order. There are penalties for failing to pay child support, and jail may be an eventual consequence. A parent who begins making child support payments again may still be obligated to pay back support as well as interest.

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Hecht Family Law
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