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My ex husband was recently granted SSDI and I received a lump sum payment for my dependant children for 3 years back.

Parsippany, NJ |

The amount I received from Social Security for the past 3 years exceeds the arrears he owes me by a substantial amount. Once we go to court and he gets absolved of the arrears (assuming he does we live in NJ), how will the overage I received be handled. Will I have to give it back if it exceeds his child support obligation?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    The money your children receive on account of their father's disability is paid to them under the Social Security regulations. This money belongs to you and the children and is to be used for their support. In many instances, the proceeds from Social Security would not change the father's duty to pay support to his children. I would check with officials from the Family Court where you reside or seek legal advice from an attorney in the city where you reside. It's very possible the father's debt for support might not be reduced by the social security benefits.

  2. The child benefits from social security are independent of any past due child support obligations from the children's father. In other words, the money you got for your kids from social security is theirs and they are still entitled to the full child support from their father.

  3. I concur with my colleagues. In addition, if he continues to fall behind on his child support obligations you may ask your state's Division of Child Support and/or family court to enforce a garnishment against his Social Security benefits to pay any arrearages or current obligations. The Social Security system limits the garnishment amount to the lesser of the State maximum or the maximum under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)) and is based on the law of the State where the beneficiary resides. Hereafter, the CCPA limit is referred to as the “Federal” limit. The CCPA limits garnishment to:

    50%, if the beneficiary is supporting a spouse and/or child other than the spouse and/or child whose support has been ordered.

    60%, if the beneficiary is not supporting another spouse and/or child.

    55% or 65% respectively, if the garnishment order or other evidence submitted indicates the original support ordered is 12 or more weeks in arrears.

    Best of luck to you and your children.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.