Many single California parents rely on child support to help them financially support their children. If a noncustodial parent has been paying child support but suddenly becomes disabled, there is a possibility that their ability to pay child support will be impacted. If a custodial parent learns that the other parent became disabled, there are certain questions that they should ask themselves.
First, custodial parents should determine if the noncustodial parent’s disability is permanent or temporary. If the injury is temporary, the disabled parent might be able to temporarily have the child support order modified to reflect their new financial situation. The reduction in child support should only last as long as the parent is considered to be disabled. For long-term disabilities, the reduction in child support could become permanent.
Custodial parents should also determine if the child support order is eligible to receive disability insurance benefits. If so, it is fair to expect the disabled person to continue to provide child support. However, it is likely that the benefits will be less than the parent’s regular income, so custodial parent’s should expect the court to modify the child support order.
Child support helps custodial parents pay for everyday expenses, medical care and more. If a noncustodial parent who has been ordered to pay child support suddenly refuses to pay, a family law attorney might help the custodial parent go to court to seek an enforcement of the child support order. For parents who are disabled and receiving disability insurance benefits, courts may garnish a portion of the benefits. In extreme cases of child support delinquency, the attorney might even ask the court to seize the other parent’s tax returns.