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Disability does not cancel child support obligations

When a non-custodial Illinois parent becomes disabled and unable to work, it can create financial burdens on the custodial parent as well. If parents paying child support becomes disabled, it does not relieve them of their obligation. With less income coming in, this parent may be forced to pay a lower amount of child support and this could impact the custodial parent's financial situation.

If non-custodial parents become disabled either temporarily or permanently, they should ask the court to modify the child support order, especially if they have no other source of income. Some parents may have disability insurance, perhaps through their employer, but the benefits are likely to be less than their regular paycheck.

If a disabled parent gets behind in monthly child support payments, the court could order what income coming in to be garnished. In this case, child support payments would be deducted before the parent even receives the income. The disabled parent is likely to get even less money to live on than before the disability began. If the court agrees to lower child support payments, the custodial parent also will get less money on to raise the children. Both parents will then have to learn to get by on less income.

It is important fordisabled parents to seek a modification of the child support order agreement early on, before they get behind on the payments. It is unlikely they will be totally relieved of paying child support, but they may be able to get the payment amount reduced. They may want to consult a family law attorney who may be able to get the court to modify the order for the expected duration of the disability.

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