Social Security Benefits and Child Support
Social Security benefits can affect child support in two ways. First, if either the parent paying child support (the “obligor”) or the parent receiving child support (the “obligee”) receives Social Security benefits, the Arizona Child Support Guidelines require that the Social Security benefits be included in determining either parents income. Thus, the Social Security benefits help to determine the initial child support obligation.
Second, the Social Security benefits can affect the amount of child support that must be paid out of pocket by the parent paying child support. Section 26 of the Arizona Child Support Guidelines addresses this issue and states verbatim as follows:
A. Income earned or money received by a child from any source other than court-ordered
B. Benefits, such as Social Security Disability or Insurance, received by a custodial parent
C. Except as otherwise provided in section 5.B, any benefits received directly, and not on
My interpretation of the above, minus some of the legalese, is really pretty simple:
A. If a child receives benefits from a source outside of the parent paying child support, it will not normally diminish the paying parent’s child support obligation unless the Arizona Child Support Guidelines provide a specific exception. However, if a mentally or physically disabled child receives child support past the age of majority, those amounts may be credited toward the paying parent’s child support obligation. Notice this is a “may” and not a “shall,” meaning that the court has discretion in this child support matter.
B. If a child receives benefits, such as social security or insurance, because the paying parent made the child eligible to receive such benefits by paying into the system, those amounts shall be credited toward the paying parent’s child support obligation in the manners described. Notice this is a “shall” and not a “may,” meaning that the court has no discretion in this child support matter.
C. As I mentioned above, a parent who receives payments directly on his or her behalf must include those amounts in income totals used to calculate child support. However, the exception to this provision is provided by the Child Support Guidelines Section 5(B) which states, “Gross income does not include sums received as child support or benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps and General Assistance.”
The Law Office of Carrie M. Wilcox
10930 N. Tatum Blvd., Ste. 100
Visit our website: localhost
Disclaimer: Providing the above information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To create such a relationship, both the attorney and potential client must sign a written fee agreement. The information contained herein is meant only as general information and is not meant to be relied upon for the purpose of taking legal action. You should contact an attorney in person for further and specific information.Carrie M. Wilcox is licensed only in Arizona. Information in this article may apply only to Arizona
Copyright © 2005