The Bad news

If you begin to receive disability benefits you are still required to pay your child support in full. Hopefully, this is never a scenario that you or a loved one must face. However, it is important to understand that if you are a non-custodial parent who provides child support, you cannot assume a debilitating accident that causes your disability will automatically change your payment structure.

To play it safe, we suggest speaking with a qualified attorney, but chances are your disability payments will qualify for income for child support calculations.

Under Iowa law, and most other states as well, even though disability payments are not deemed “income” for federal tax purposes, the payments are still used in the calculation to determine income for child support purposes. When dealing with the support of children, the court typically refers to what is in the “best interest” of the child. And although disability payments are not income per se, the idea of withholding such a benefit to a disabled individual’s child runs counterintuitively to the notion of child support and what’s in the child’s best interest.

The Good News

Of course, if you are receiving disability benefit payments, chances are your earning capacity is not as high as it once was. Therefore, courts are typically willing to adjust monthly child support payments upon a motion to the court for modification of child support payments.

At the end of the day, the court will try to balance the lost earning capacity with the best interest of the child and the outstanding circumstances. If you find yourself in this situation, give our Sioux City law firm, Sioux Falls law firm, or Omaha law firm a call today! For more information on divorce proceedings, visit our Divorce Docket blog.


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