How a Personal Injury Settlement Can Affect Child Support Payments
Child support payments are generally determined by weighing the parent’s income in with the cost of raising the child or children. This calculation is not so simple, however, as the amount can vary based on state laws and specific circumstances. A personal injury settlement is an example of a special circumstance. If you have received a personal injury settlement, you are required to notify the court handling your child support case, because this will likely affect your child support payment.
It is advised that you speak with a family lawyer to understand your rights, and determine how your settlement may affect your child support payments. The following provides a simple guideline for how a personal injury settlement can affect child support payments:
Generally, the amount a parent owes in child support is partly based on his or her income. In most states, the monetary awards in a personal injury settlement is considered a form of personal income, meaning it can be factored into the amount of child support you are required to pay. Since a settlement will likely increase your income, the courts will require you to pay more than you previously were, depending on the size and damage allocation of the settlement.
Your Personal Injury Award
Because an injury may hinder your ability to work, it may be assumed that a loss of income will be factored in and decrease the amount owed in child support. Your personal injury settlement, however, will cover for lost wages, so this portion of the compensation will be considered as regular income. The amount of the settlement you’re required to pay will probably equal the amount of your average income you would have paid.
The injury you sustained may have affected your ability to fulfill your child support duties and resulted in overdue payments. As a legal obligation, you are required to make up for any late or outstanding payments, so your personal injury settlement can be used as a type of collateral. In such case, whatever you have not paid in child support may have be taken from your settlement.
Future Child Support Payments
Depending on the size of your settlement in comparison to the damages incurred from your injury, your future child support payments may be affected. In the case that you receive a substantial settlement, especially one that outweighs the cost of damages, then you may be required to pay more in child support. For example, if medical bills and lost wages from your injury costed $4,000, but you were compensated for $10,000, then the $6,000 difference may be factored into a greater income.
How your personal injury settlement will affect your child support payments will vary largely by the jurisdiction and specific circumstances in your case. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer Bloomington, IL trusts to work through your case and your losses and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve
Thank you to Pioletti & Pioletti for providing key insight on personal injury cases.