When a parent in Texas experiences an acquired disability, it can have a major impact on their life, including their ability to work or conduct many of the same activities they have loved for years. In addition, a disability that affects a person’s ability to work can also have a significant impact on their ability to pay child support. Child support orders are issued based on a statewide formula that reflects the income of the paying parent and that helps a child continue to benefit from both of their parents’ standard of living.
However, just as disability itself can significantly change a parent’s standard of living, it can also change their ability to pay child support. If they are no longer receiving income at their pre-disability level, they are unlikely to be able to meet the obligations of a child support order that reflected that level of income. However, becoming disabled does not cancel a parent’s obligation to support their children. It can, however, lead to a modification of an existing support order if it is accompanied by a legitimate change in financial circumstances.
Disability insurance can be critical for a person’s own financial health after disability as well as for the sustenance and support of their children. While the income provided by an insurance plan is generally significantly lower than that of the parent’s prior employment, it is generally calculated based on that income and can support a person’s basic expenses, including child support payments.
Parents who have experienced disability know that there will be major changes in their lives. This can be true whether a disability is permanent or temporary. A family law attorney might help a disabled parent to pursue a child support modification in family court that will enable them to continue to meet their obligations in a way that reflects their current economic circumstances.