Garnishing Disability for Child Support


I am currently receiving child support payments from my ex-husband who is on disability. He was ordered to pay $551 per month according to my decree. We have been going to court because he is trying to get the amount lowered because he pays support for 4 others as well, but was not married to the mothers.

Our children are 21 and 19 now, but he owes way over $30 thousand and $24 thousand of that amount is the principle, the other is the interest. His attorney is trying to get it lowered to $50 (can that be lowered that drastically?) because he is on a fixed income and disability.

At the DHS administration hearing I was told that the amount will probably be lowered since my divorce decree was so many years ago. The DHS representative said that although he was ordered to pay the $551.00 when we divorced the guidelines to garnish wages from his disability check are different now. They have, however, been garnishing the current amount from his disability check for the past year.

My question is why or how can it be lowered so drastically? Will I have to get a lawyer to fight this or what can I look into to make sure the change does not occur? Thanks.

By Donna from Tulsa, OK


Recent AnswersAnswer this Question

By Joan 13 1,482 12/09/2010

None of us can really answer that. I know you would like that back support, but then on the other hand, if you would have to hire a lawyer would it be worth it. From what I have always heard, the first kids born to a person gets more support, than later ones, but I don't know if that is right or not. The person that is paying support should be smart enough to not have more kids than they can afford to support.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Deanj 917 12/10/2010

I don't believe anyone who posts to this board is qualified to answer your question. Laws are different in every state. You really need the advise of an attorney from your state that is familar with your type of problem.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


Ditto on talking to an attorney but the main question you need to ask yourself is if it's worth your expense, time and headache now that your children are grown and your former husband is now disabled.?

And, yes, the back pay can possibly be lowered because he no longer has the income /circumstances he did when you two originally divorced and there's only so much blood you can squeeze from a turnip. Something is better than nothing.

Playing devil's advocate here, and wouldn't do so if he was not disabled, but how long has he been disabled? Was the $24,000.00 amount (before interest you mention which is about two years worth of the original back support you're seeking) owed before he became disabled? And whether it was before or after he was disabled how could he even be able to repay it now?

Please don't get me wrong because I can't stand deadbeat parents, whether male or female, but there are circumstances where the reason for being deadbeat is not always in someones control and compassion does need to be considered.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Eileen M. 56 240 12/13/2010

Talk to an attorney! If there is a state department of child support services, or family services, make an appointment and go talk to a case worker. My ex- is now on veteran's disability, and his check is not garnished either. However, when he requested the amount be re-figured, HE did not send in the required paperwork, so it remains the same. I have already accepted that I will never, no way in h-e-double-toothpicks, receive the close to $300,000 he owes in arrears, however, I'm not letting his just skate off scott-free. His income tax refund is intercepted, as well as any government stimulus checks, so we get a little bit, every now and again. My kids are now 13 and 17, divorce has been final for 14 years.
Good luck!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By roxi 4 28 12/13/2010

I hope no one takes this wrong, the info .
I know you probably feel jilted. The advice I have may help. If he gets any thing from SSA,SSDI,SSI, ...etc. Your children can apply under his benifits. This is in any state. Sence they are over 18, they would get it as long as they are in school. What I just mentioned is they are not disabiled. But, If his disability is hereditary, even mentally, The children can get it for life. Also I had to pay child support, they lowered it down to $25.00 per month, I knew my child could not survive on that so I did the paper work myself, and sent it in. (My ex did not want to work with me, but did it anyway) Plus in it, my child ended up coming to be with me. Because the parent ends up being protective payee, alot of times the other parent mess up. My baby is 24 yrs old now still on SSI, going to college. Doing better at grades, get extra help in school also.
Aso the children get more than what you quoted. Any questions, go to the web site.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By ICU2 1 03/14/2011

"Deadbeat, a person who deliberately avoids paying debts".

To date, Non-Custodial Parents have been reduced to the legal equivalent of a suspected Terrorist. If you look at what the government can do to you as a Non-Custodial parent, American Citizen, theres not that much difference.

As I read some of the feedback it's just "appalling" and "mean spirited". Contrary to "popular" belief, the vast majority of "non-custodial" parents are not earning 6 figure incomes. The "vast majority" are trying to do right financially (as well as spend time when allowed) for their children

I love my children dearly and (6) now ages 15-31. I have "all my wages garnished from 1992-present including SSD. I lost my SSD because I could'nt live off of $267 per month. I lost my SSD benefits because in order to avoid being evicted from my studio apartment, I had to work or be homeless.

All the Mothers (and I mean all) of my children live in nice "Houses and even having swimming pools. I however have had to live in 1 bedroom apartments and go to food cupboards.

I say all this to say that some of the comments I've read about "Deadbeat" and "Non-custodial" parents is just hateful. What about the kids who are kept from the "Non-parent".

I thought the whole thing was supposed to be in the best interest of the children and not the best interest of keeping children away from the "other parent".

Do your research folks and find out who coined the term "deadbeat" and what the real policy justification has been by recreating "Endentured Servitude" under the guise of " In the Best Interest of The Child".

Click this link for more information (no virus, completely safe):

http://books.google.com/books?id=FW ... in%20of%20deadbeat%20dad&f=false

It's time for some of us to stop "spouting off" on stuff we have "no clue" about without looking at the whole picture. It takes courage to be well informed.

Remember the "dictionary" term for deadbeat. After all, with the economy being the way it is now, you too are elligiable.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Noella 11 381 06/05/2011

Unless the Social Security laws have drastically changed in very recent years, Social Security Disability can be garnished. I am still receiving back child support from garnishing his disability payments for my son who is now 30. And let me say, I did not live in a big house with a swimming pool. I lived in a 728-square-foot one-bedroom house with my son from his age 6 to 19 and we had no air conditioning until he was 17. We were never able to take vacations or even go to very many movies. I became an expert in finding free things to do in our small town.

My ex-husband always worked "under the table" so as to hide from us and to keep from paying taxes, etc. It was when my son's father went on Social Security Disability that we were finally notified that he had been found. I had registered with our local Missouri Support Enforcement Unit, but unless you are actually on welfare, locating non-supporting fathers is very low priority with them. I was never on welfare, my salary was always barely above the income limits.

Before hiring a lawyer, talk to your Social Security office first, it will probably require an actual visit. You probably won't even need a lawyer. They will tell you the documents you will need. Good luck!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By sgt_crump 1 08/29/2012

I am reading that the custodial parents want the noncustodial parents to get another job. I have always paid 100 dollars more then the court ordered me to pay. I went and served my country and am permanently disabled with some very serious injuries. Veteran's disability has been reworked by congress because vampire life and blood sucking noncustodial parents use their children to attempt at taking all of the disability compensation the federal government allows to keep. The veteran who served this country and served to keep our borders safe so you could sleep at night, and because he or she is now on veterans benefits you want a part of that too.

It's not a fair world and I am sure before your noncustodial parent was disabled by a war for your benefit and the benefit of all our people. You were fully able to suck every penny out of them that you could. Now that the veteran is disabled to such an extent that they can not work any more. You are upset that you can not suck them dry. Now it time you man or woman up, get to work and put your noses to the grind stone and stop expecting everything for free.

I spend as much time with my children as I can possibly get and always beg for more time, and I pay an out rages amount. I have lost my home and my vehicles. I have been raped mentally and financially and been stripped of my pride on a regular basis.

I was diagnosed with approximately one year to live. I have been battling that for a while now, and made it 3 years. Life has been extremely difficult a physical pain due to my disability that most of the time I pray to pass in my sleep, but I always wake up the next day.

I guess most of you really don't care about other people and that's the society we live in today. There is no compassion for our veterans who fought to make sure your safe as long as you get what you want the heck with the veteran right? Then were all suppose to be compassionate of you because you have it so hard and someone needs to pay. You know what, get over yourself get a job and move on.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


Here are questions related to Garnishing Disability for Child Support.

Question: SSDI and Child Support Arrears

I pay child support out of my SS benefits. My arrears balance kept accumulating even though I wasn't able to work. Can that arrears balance be taken off to the date my application was filed and approved by the state for SSDI?

By Carl

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer

By brownie_37207 1 11/09/2013

In my situation I was paying 1,700 a month when employed. After my military service I had undiagnosed PTSD, which presented itself in loss of many jobs assaultive behavior an extended jail time. After diagnoses I was plced on temporary disability. In NYC recieving $155 cash an two hundred food stamps per month while awaiting the veterans admin disability decision. All the while being charged 1,700 a month which I couldnt pay. So by the time I was awarded my vets benefits my arrears were $70k. My lawyer advised in NYC if living below the poverty level guideline set by the human resoures admin $15k in NY your eligible for the arrears cap initiative. By law they can only charge you 500 a year for each year you can prove you lived below the poverty leval guideline. In my case it alleviated fifty thousand dollars.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Collecting Benefits from Parent's SSDI

My son doesn't have his father's last name. His father is now disabled. Can he still receive benefits from his father's disability?

By Chastity

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer

By HAPPYINHARNED 14 193 09/10/2012

You need to hurry and get this done. If the Dad were to die before you get this done you cannot get any monies. Good Luck

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Garnishing SSD Benefits for Back Child Support

Do I need to hire a lawyer or does the D.A. file for a garnishment of my exhusband's SSD benefits for back child support in Tennessee?

By vdl

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer


Good advice here already. Please do talk to both Social Security and the family court. Our system is in place to help those in your situation so that you don't have to pay additional fees trying to collect money due to your children.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: VA Disability and Child Support Arrears

I recently was awarded disability by the VA. I have child support arrears and wanted to know is there any way they can be eradicated or reduced.

By James

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer

By Jana 7 260 11/29/2014

Child support is a totally separate issue. You will still owe any arrears that you owe, and current support will be calculated based on your disability amount. My 21 year old's father is STILL paying me back support (and his is on VA Disability) although not much at a time.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

Question: Child Support and SSDI Garnishment

Can child support take my back pay from SSDI that I get for my kids now?

By Clifford

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Most Recent Answer


If you mean your SSDI for you anything is possible depending on the state you live in. If you mean the supplemental for your children because of your disability I honestly don't think their money would be attached because it's for their expenses. The best thing to do is contact your local Social Security office and ask them what the rules would be for your particular circumstance.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

My daughter lost her job and is having a very hard time finding one. She and her little one are now in danger of being evicted from their low income apartment because she doesn't have money for this month's rent. Her child's father refuses to pay any child support and he won't get a job because he lives at his father's house for free. He lives off his new wife's disability check.

Does his daughter have a right to any of his wife's ($1500) disability check? I believe her check comes from Social Security. He will never get a job (so she can garnish) and doesn't have a drivers license to revoke. He would rather go to jail than work! My daughter is a wonderful mother but is having a hard time finding a new job and any child support would help!

By Concerned Grandma

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

No, you cannot get money from your ex's new wife's income. File charges against him for non child support. If he's a dodger, he could put things in his new wife's name and you cannot touch it.

This is strictly a problem between exs to resolve with court system help. It'll take weeks to get things ironed out. If the new wife is pressed to come to her dead beats rescue, she might provide dollars to keep him out of jail, but that grows old and I wouldn't depend on her income to always be available. Good luck to you and your child. I feel for you having to go through a rough time without ex's financial backing. It sure would make things easier. (04/13/2009)

By Lorelei

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I don't think that you can do that, but do call Social Security and find out. Also, if she knows where he is living and has an address it seems depending on the laws where you live that she can have him arrested for not paying child support. I hope something works out for you and your daughter and her child. These are hard times and a dead beat parent is so sad. (04/13/2009)

By Bookeesmom

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

If he would rather go to jail then help his own daughter then put him there! If his new wife wants him then all back child support will have to be paid before he can get out, if he skips a month then put him right back in jail! Don't back down no matter what story he comes up with, sooner or later people will get tired of bailing him out. 7560 (04/14/2009)

By memas

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

When I was married, my husband's first wife filed for an increase in child support based on my income. We actually went to court over this. I had just started a business (hence his increased income) and, with start-up expenses, only made about $1, the first 3 months and her request was denied. According to the lawyer, if my income was substantial, she would have gotten an increase. (04/15/2009)

By wasshrunk

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

Gee, the ex sounds worse even than mine! At least he paid up, eventually, to keep out of jail. If your daughter isn't too proud, perhaps she could get some assistance from the Department of Jobs and Family Services, Human Services, or whatever that social service is called in your area. She should qualify for food stamps, at least, and perhaps cash and medical assistance, too.

One more thing: the low-income housing where we lived at one time had a policy, zero income meant zero rent until there was income. I recommend your daughter talk frankly with her landlord and see what arrangements are available to her. I'll be praying for you all. (04/15/2009)

By JustPlainJo

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

You don't have to garnish his SS benefits. SS has a child benefit that your child is automatically entitled to. Just go to SS with your child's birth certificate, the father's social security number and you can get your child signed up. It doesn't come out of his check. It automatically comes from the SS Child benefit, but if he owes "back" child support you can get that as a garnishment from current wages through a court order. (04/16/2009)

By vitaloo

RE: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I am pretty sure that you cannot garnish your ex-husband's present wife's income. Your child is not her child. She is not responsible for any of his bills made before they were married, only the ones made afterwards. That doesn't mean that her lifestyle wouldn't be impacted by his previous bills.

If you know where your ex-husband lives, contact your state support enforcement unit and have them track him down for back child support. They can put a lien on his Social Security when he's eligible for it, especially if your child is under 19 at the time. Be sure and have the support enforcement unit place the lien now in case at some point in time he applies for Social Security Disability.

A word of warning though. If you are not on some type of welfare, your support enforcement unit will probably place you at the bottom. They do seem to be more interested in going after fathers of those on welfare so as to reimburse the state rather than gain income for custodial parents. (04/21/2009)

By Noella

Archive: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I was receiving child support until my husband lost his job. He received back pay last Friday for the time he was out and is now on 60% disability from his employer. Will I collect any child support from his back pay or from his future disability payments?


Archive: Garnishing Disability for Child Support

My disability is being garnished for child support. I need to know by law, can they do that? I am experiencing extreme hardship with little monies to see me through the rest of the month.


Answer This Question