Social Security Payments For Children And Child Support

A child can qualify for Social Security benefits if their parent is receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), or was entitled to one of these benefits before they died. These benefits are based on the Social Security record of the parent and are referred to as auxiliary benefits, or dependents benefits.

This can effect child support in different ways.

In North Carolina, the amount that the child receives is added to the income of the parent who is retired or disabled. From there, the child support guidelines are calculated as they normally would be. However, the retired or disabled parent gets to credit the actual payment received by the child towards their child support obligation.

If the retired or disabled parent also has custody of the child and the amount the child receives exceeds that parent’s obligation, then the parent without custody may seek to have the Court deviate from the guidelines or offset their own obligation.

If the amount received by the child exceeds the combined obligation of both parents, then the Court should not enter a child support order.

If the retired or disabled parent does NOT have custody of the child and the amount the child receives exceeds the retired or disabled parent’s support obligation, then the Court should not enter a child support order. The non-custodial parent does not get any of the excess payment refunded to them. If the amount the child receives is less than the non-custodial parents obligation, then the non-custodial parent must make up the difference.

Is that fair? Probably not. A surplus goes to the custodial parent, while a deficit is charged to the non-custodial parent. You can only hope the money is used for its intended purpose.

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