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How a disability can impact child support payments

If a parent in Massachusetts or anywhere else in America is required to pay child support, that obligation generally won't end should he or she become disabled. However, it may be difficult for a disabled individual to continue working, which may affect whether a parent with custody continues to receive support from his or her child's noncustodial mother or father.

In some circumstances, an individual may receive a portion of his or her salary from an employer if he or she got hurt at work. It is important to point out that these payments are often less than a person's regular salary. When this is the case, it may be grounds for the individual to seek a child support modification since the mandated payment amounts are based partially on a parent's income.

If the noncustodial parent's disability is medically determined to be temporary, a support order may be modified on a short-term basis. This means that the amount of child support the injured parent owes will return to normal once he or she is back in good health. If the disability is expected to be permanent, the modification may also be made permanent. Parents who receive supplemental security income (SSI) can have those benefits garnished if they have fallen behind on their payments or as a way to make sure they pay at least some of the child support they owe.

Parents who are disputing over child support issues may wish to speak with attorneys. A lawyer can inform parents who are required to pay child support about their rights when it comes to getting orders modified due to disability or other circumstances that result in a loss of or reduction in income. Custodial parents who are owed child support may wish to consult with attorneys regarding how to recover their payments, which may include requesting that the delinquent individuals' disability benefits be garnished.

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