Obtaining child support from a parent with a disability

By Marrero, Chamizo, Marcer Law, LP,

When a Florida couple with children divorces, the non-custodial parent is usually required to pay child support. This is to ensure that the custodial parent has enough money to raise the child. The payment amount will be partially based on the non-custodial parent’s income, so anything that reduces a one’s ability to earn may also result in a reduction in the child support obligations.

One example of this is if a person who is paying child support suffers an injury or develops a medical condition that results in a serious disability. People will not automatically see a reduction in their obligations, but since individuals with a disability often see their income reduced due to being less able to perform job functions, it is common for child support obligations to be adjusted.

The amount and duration of the child support reduction will depend on the parent’s change in income and how long they are expected to be disabled. If someone is temporarily disabled, their child support payments will return to their normal level after they recover. Long-term injuries could lead to permanent reductions.

Child support modifications can be requested by either parent for a range of reasons. For a modification request to be successful, a significant change in circumstances is usually necessary. Generally speaking, this involves one parent earning a good deal more or less money. A lawyer could explain the exact circumstances where someone may be able to successfully petition for a child support modification and help a client build an argument for their request.