How Does My Personal Injury Settlement Affect Child Support Payments?
It is difficult to handle a personal injury case on its own, but if you also have to make child support payments, things could get even more complicated. A settlement award could affect your payment plan in a number of ways. Should you find yourself in this situation, it is best to contact a family law attorney who can advise you about your particular situation. Here are a few scenarios that may pertain to your award and payments:
- Making Overdue Payments:
A personal injury may have understandably put you behind on making your child support payments. A serious injury may have prevented you from working and a claim is a lengthy process that can be stressful. If you have fallen behind, it is your obligation to make them up on time or as soon as you’re able. If you have been awarded a settlement, a portion of that money, or all of it, may be allocated to child support payments.
- Is it Income?
Most states categorize a settlement for personal injury as personal income, and that means it can included in the calculation of child support payments. Income can mean different things depending on the circumstances. For example, just because something is income for child support purposes, doesn’t mean it is always income for tax purposes.
- It Can Depend on How Much the Award is For:
If a settlement is larger, your child support payments may rise in amount, especially if you are awarded compensation for punitive damage. If the compensation you receive only reflects the value of your medical bills and day- to-day expenses lost, then you may see little to no changes in your payment schedule.
- Inability to Work or Lost Wages:
A personal injury could be so severe that you need time off work to recover properly. If you lose wages as a result, that will surely affect your ability to make child support payments. Often, lost wages are compensated for in personal injury settlements which will likely be put into child support payments. A family law attorney can advise you how much of your personal injury award will go to child support payments and how much you will be able to keep.
Schedule a consultation with a family law or Personal Injury Lawyer Fort Collins, CO locals recommend today to discuss your options. Your situation may need unique attention and it is best to consult an attorney as you move forward.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cannon Hadfield Stieben & Doutt, LLC for their insight into personal injury.