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How disability can impact child support payments

Disability can change a Michigan family’s life significantly, especially if a newly impaired parent’s income was the basis for child support payments. Because disability can significantly affect a person’s ability to work, it can often be accompanied by a sharp reduction in income. This can impact a parent’s ability to meet their child support obligations.

When a parent’s income changes significantly, they may find it difficult or impossible to continue payments at that level. An acquired disability does not cancel a parent’s child support responsibilities or remove the obligation to participate in the child’s financial upbringing. However, child support payments are intended to be based on the parents’ standard of living and lifestyle. This means that the support amount due each month can be modified in family court to reflect the true picture of a parent’s financial situation.

Disability insurance can be important for workers, and it can also help to protect their children. While disability insurance rarely provides income that matches the parent’s pre-disability salary, it does provide reliable funds. Child support payments can be paid directly from the insurance check, similar to how payroll deductions are often used to manage payments. However, the disabled parent can often seek a child support modification so that the monthly amount reflects their disability payment rather than their previous income.

Dealing with a disability can also mean dealing with an array of legal responsibilities. A family law attorney can help a parent to go to family court and seek a modified child support order during their temporary or permanent disability.