When a parent in Colorado becomes disabled due to an accident, injury or illness, it can have a substantial impact on all areas of life. Noncustodial parents with disabilities could face particular challenges making child support payments. In general, child support court orders are based on a standard formula that takes into account the parents’ income and planned earnings.
When a parent becomes disabled, they might not be able to return to their previous employment. They may experience a precipitous decrease in income, relying on government disability benefits or insurance payments as a result of their injury. As a result, they might be unable to keep up with their obligations.
Disabled parents may find themselves accumulating child support debts as they fail to meet their obligations. Becoming disabled does not wipe out a parent’s obligation to support the children. However, a changing income can be an important and highly relevant reason to go back to family court and ask for a child support order modification. Child support should reflect a parent’s current income rather than permanently reflecting their income at the time of the initial order.
While a parent who had disability insurance may earn a portion of their income each month, others relying on government benefits may bring in far less. In both cases, support payments can be expected to continue. Nevertheless, the amount required could be adjusted to reflect current income. In some cases, this modification can be temporary if the parent is expected to recover; other modifications may be permanent.
People who are struggling with a sudden physical disability may find themselves drowning in child support obligations. A family law attorney can help a client seek a modification of the child support order that reflects their current financial situation and ability to pay.