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How a parent's disability affects child support

Parents in California who suddenly incur physical disabilities may find it difficult to meet their financial obligations, including child support. Parents who receive or pay child support should know what they can do if the payments are not paid in full or on time due to a physical disability.

The duty to make child support payment does not automatically disappear if the paying parent become disabled. Disability insurance benefits paid to the disabled parent by his or her employer may be applied to child support. If the amount of benefits is less than what the parent earned before, a child support modification order may be sought. This means that the parent who receives child support may have to get used to receiving less payments.

Whether a parent's disability is permanent or temporary is also important. The court will typically order a temporary modification of child support for parents with temporary disabilities. For parents with permanent disabilities, their child support orders may be modified permanently and will be based on the amount of their disability payment and any other additional income they receive.

Parents who are obligated to pay child support and who receive disability benefits should know that there are some cases in which the benefits can be garnished to pay current or delinquent child support. While it ensures that at least some of the child support payments will be paid, it can make it difficult for the disabled parents to make ends meet on the remaining amount, particularly if he or she is currently not working.

A divorce attorney may work to ensure that a client's child support needs are met. A child support modification may be requested if the financial situation of either parent has significantly changed. The attorney may also request enforcement measures for back child support.

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