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Receiving child support from a parent who does not work

When you are facing a divorce and your child’s other parent is not employed, you may be worried that the court will not be able to award you child support, and that you will have the full financial burden of raising your child. Because the judge typically considers the ability to pay, and the resources each parent has, it may seem like a foregone conclusion that no paycheck will equal no support. We at The Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., understand that there are many sources that child support may be drawn from, and we provide counsel on appropriate agreements.

Michigan Legal Help explains that your child may be entitled to dependent benefits if the other parent is receiving Social Security Disability benefits. This income is based on work history, so the amount varies, but your former spouse should apply on behalf of your child. When the court calculates the amount of support he or she is obligated to pay, that payment may be met by the dependent benefits. However, the obligation is not necessarily capped at the total paid through SSD. A judge may determine that it is not adequate and order your child’s other parent to pay an additional amount over and above the benefits.

In some cases, vindictive spouses have quit their jobs, or taken lower paying jobs, in order to avoid paying child support. If your child’s other parent does this, it does not automatically lower the amount of the payments you should receive. Instead, the support may be figured based on earning potential so that your child does not suffer from the loss of the income. More information about the calculation and enforcement of support is available on our web page.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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