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Do Social Security Benefits Affect Child Support?

If you are divorced or in the process of divorce and have applied for social security disability or SSI benefits, there may also be benefits payable for and on behalf of the children.  By law, those benefits are an offset for any child support that is required to be paid. For example, if you are required to pay $400/month in child support and you are considered disabled by the Social Security Administration, then SS will pay to the custodial parent a sum of approximately $680/child.  This is a dollar-for-dollar offset of your child support.  The additional $280 (680-400) is considered a windfall to the custodial parent, but may also be utilized to offset a portion of uncovered medical or dental expenses. Child support and any social security offsets are often discussed between the parties, at settlement negotiations and need to be presented at any trials for custody, parenting and support.  Such may be the case in a joint custody or shared parenting arrangement where the money is paid on behalf of the children through one parent's disability.  This should be dealt with in the Parenting Agreement or Dissolution Settlement Agreement or it may be litigated in Court. The court retains the authority to designate which parent receives these benefits. If you or your spouse have applied for or are receiving Social Security benefits, it is likely there are additional benefits available for the children.  As such, discuss this with your attorney.  For a consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453, speak to Mike at 581-MIKE or email at [email protected].  

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