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How a disability can impact child support payments

Parents in Texas and throughout the country who become disabled may not be able to make their child support payments in full. However, it doesn't mean that their obligation to support their children comes to an end. Those who receive disability benefits may be required to give a portion of that income to the child's other parent.

It is likely that the disability benefit payments will be less than a noncustodial parent's wages. Therefore, it is likely that future support payments will be less than what the custodial parent is used to receiving. A child support order could be permanently modified if a noncustodial parent is not expected to get better. However, if a parent's condition is only temporary, any order to modify a support agreement will be temporary as well.

If a parent owes back support, disability or other benefits could be garnished by the government. This is done to ensure that a good faith effort is undertaken to preserve a child's best interests. If a parent asks to modify an existing support order soon enough, it may be possible to avoid having benefits garnished. This can be ideal for those who are not able to provide for themselves on only a portion of each disability insurance check.

Child support payments can help parents provide food, clothing and shelter for their children. A failure to pay child support may result in a parent seeking public assistance, which could put a strain on government resources. Therefore, states take the obligation to make support payments seriously. Those who owe back support might be subject to wage or benefit garnishment. They may also be subject to fines, jail time or the loss of professional licenses depending on the facts in their cases.

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