If you were injured in a workplace accident or got sick with an occupational disease in South Carolina, and you pay child support, you may be wondering, “Will child support be deducted from my benefits, or will they be untouched?” This is a common question from injured and disabled workers who are responsible for paying child support.
Can child support be taken out of your workers’ compensation? Yes, absolutely. Just because a parent is injured, disabled, sick, or unemployed, it does NOT change the fact that he or she is still obligated to financially support their children.
Child Support Modifications
If you start receiving workers’ compensation benefits, they will be counted as income for child support purposes. However, workers’ compensation is not 100% of your average weekly wage. Instead, it is 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage for the four quarters before your injury, but it cannot exceed the average weekly wage set by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. What does this mean? It means that if your injury will affect your income for some time, it may be time to go back to court and ask for a downward modification.
Whenever there has been a significant change in circumstances, either parent has the right to ask the court for a downward or an upward modification in the support amount. If you will be losing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in income each month because you’ll be on workers’ compensation for some time, you may be entitled to a downward modification.
It’s important to understand that child support is NOT retroactive. You cannot stop paying or start paying less simply because you were injured on the job. You will continue owing the full amount of child support unless the court approves a downward modification. Because of this, don’t delay your petition to lower your support obligation.
Contact Masella Law Firm, P.A. right awayfor assistance with a workers’ compensation or child support matter.