When Illinois parents of young children divorce, the parent who does not have primary physical custody may be required to pay child support. Most parents take their financial responsibilities to their children seriously. However, sometimes life circumstances can make it difficult to pay child support. The circumstances include an illness or injury that makes it difficult to earn a living.
When a parent who is paying child support becomes disabled, he or she may be faced with financial problems. This could be the result of high medical bills, as well as temporary or permanent loss of work. The simple fact of becoming disabled, however, does not automatically terminate that parent’s responsibility to make child support payments. In fact, both public and private disability insurance payments can be garnished by the state if a parent is behind on support obligations.
To prevent the possibility of garnishment, parents who become disabled may wish to file for a child support modification. This can be brought to a judge who may assess the parent’s new circumstances and, if appropriate, may reduce the support payment to a more affordable amount. It is often important for disabled parents to take this step as soon as possible to avoid a negative impact on their personal finances.
Individuals who are concerned about the effect of their disability on their ability to support their children may wish to speak with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client’s case and make recommendations regarding the negotiation of child support payments, including requesting a modification.