A Guide To Derivative Social Security Benefits And Child Support In California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmDerivative Social Security benefits and its impact on child support is important irrespective of whether the parents are going through a divorce or not. This topic is one that is intriguing and yet not completely comprehended by married or unmarried parents.

This blog is going to focus on disabled and noncustodial parents and what sort of impact social security benefits will have on child support obligations. When someone is suffering from a disability, he or she receives social security disability benefits, and if that person is a parent, there is often another derivative benefit paid for any minor children that they have.

Did you know? Over 2 billion dollars each month are distributed as derivative minor benefit to disabled parents with minor children who number around 4 million.

The Case Of Disabled Parent Who Isn’t The Custodial Parents And Is Obliged To Pay Child Support

Social security benefits are considered as income for child support and thus the disabled parent may have an obligation to pay the child support to the other parent who has custody. The less time the disabled parent has with the child, the more the amount of child support. Such an amount can create a financial difficulty for the parent.

There is good news though, derivative social security benefits can sometimes be paid by the Social Security Administration to the custodial parent directly. This does have a proper process that the disabled parent has to follow. To get this solution, the disabled parent has to notify the custodial parent that he or she receives social security benefits. Then the custodial parent will apply for the derivative social security benefits directly through the Social Security department.

What happens through this is that the amount for Social Security benefits is then credited towards the child support to some extent relieving the disabled parent of that financial burden.

The Case Of A Disabled Parent When The Custodial Parent Refuses To Apply For Derivative Social Security Benefit

It seems unimaginable how someone can refuse to receive something that they are entitled to and yet there are several cases where this is commonly seen. Whether it is because of California divorce or some prevailing bitterness between the parents, sometimes parents with high emotions can see the derivative socials security benefit as an advantage to the non custodial parent and thus refuse to do anything that helps the other.

Orange County family law has anticipated such a problem and has given us a solution to it.  Family Code 4504(a) states that the custodial parent must contact the Social Security administration within 30 days of receiving a notification from the non-custodial parent. The act is meant to reduce illogical fights and excuses of non-cooperation from the custodial parent.

 
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