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How child support may be affect by a parent's disability

Some parents in Washington may wonder how an ex's disability could affect child support payments. A disabled parent is generally still required to pay child support, but the court may take several elements into consideration.

Becoming disabled might impact a person's ability to work and pay child support. A parent who becomes either temporarily or permanently disabled may go to court to request a modification in child support. The custodial parent may have to make an adjustment to getting by with less support. If a noncustodial parent is getting disability benefits and not paying support, a portion of those benefits may be garnished. Even Supplemental Social Security benefits, which generally cannot be garnished for debts, can be garnished for child support.

The disabled parent may struggle financially with a reduced income because of a condition. However, courts take a parent's obligation to provide for children seriously. Payers can avoid having wages or benefits garnished by getting a modification. Either parent who needs assistance in navigating the child support system might want to consult an attorney.

Child custody and support may be among the most contentious issues in a divorce. Parents might want to try to amicably negotiate an agreement. However, this is not always possible, and in some cases, one parent might struggle to collect child support from the other. The slighted parent could consult the local office of child support enforcement if this is the case. However, a parent should be aware that not allowing the other parent to see the children because of nonpayment of child support is not permitted. Repeatedly violating the custody and visitation agreement may jeopardize a parent's access to the child.

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