Paying child support while disabled

Parents in Kentucky and other states may be required to pay child support even if they become disabled. However, a disability may make it difficult as a practical matter to work for the money needed to make those payments. The circumstances surrounding a noncustodial parent’s disability will play a role in determining that person’s ongoing support obligation. In most cases, a court will issue a temporary modification if the disability is expected to be temporary.

If a parent receives disability insurance payments, a portion of those payments will likely go to the custodial parent. The same is true of any other income that a parent may receive while disabled. A court will base a child support payment on the amount of money that a noncustodial parent makes. Therefore, it is possible that a custodial parent will receive reduced financial assistance for however long the noncustodial parent is disabled.

Parents who owe support should be ready for the possibility that their disability benefit checks will be garnished. A portion of other types of benefits received may also be garnished to make up for back support owed or to keep up with current support obligations. Noncustodial parents are advised to seek a support modification as quickly as possible to avoid the possibility of having a portion of a benefit check garnished.

The state considers child support payments to be part of protecting the child’s best interest. Therefore, failure to provide financial support could result in significant penalties. These penalties could include wage garnishment, jail time or financial penalties added to the principal balance in arrears. An attorney might help a noncustodial parent find a way to get current on his or her child support payments. This may include requesting that an order be modified because of a disability.