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When you’ve been in an accident or suffered an injury, it can be challenging to focus on bills and other financial obligations as you navigate recovery and the legal process of filing a compensation claim. However, if you’re a divorced or separated parent, you may have additional concerns in the wake of your injury.
If you’ve recently experienced an injury and received a personal injury settlement, you may be wondering, «Can child support take my personal injury settlement?»
The answer will vary depending on whether you’ve kept up with your payments, how much you have to pay, the size of your personal injury award, and the laws regarding child support in your state.
How Child Support May Impact Your Settlement
In most cases, divorced or separated parents settle child support matters in court, usually with the help of a family law attorney. The laws around child support exist to ensure children of divorced couples receive adequate support from both parents, which often involves establishing a financial obligation on the part of the non-custodial parent.
In the context of child support, the government considers settlement earnings a form of income. As a result, the money you receive from a personal injury case can be garnished the same way your wages can if you miss a child support payment.
This is especially true if you currently have a child support lien against you, meaning you’ve failed to pay child support for an extended period. In this case, child support may deduct what you owe from the settlement you received as part of your personal injury compensation.
Likewise, if your settlement is large enough to significantly increase your income, the court may raise the amount you have to pay in child support to be proportional to the new income.
How Child Support Affects Your Compensation
If you’ve suffered an injury and find yourself wondering, “Can child support take my personal injury settlement?” know that the answer mostly depends on whether you’ve kept up with your obligation.
For instance, if you’ve been paying child support on time, it’s unlikely your settlement funds will be subject to garnishment. Likewise, even if the court deducts some of your settlement for child support, it will pay for your medical expenses first. It’s only after you pay your injury-related expenses that you may have to address missed child support payments.
Contact Simmons Law Group Today
How do I determine the appropriate settlement amount? Can child support take my personal injury settlement? How do I differentiate between personal injury facts and myths?
If you’ve recently suffered an injury, you may be asking yourself these questions. The period after an accident can be a stressful and confusing time as you navigate medical bills, legal compensation, and physical recovery. That’s why our team at Simmons Law Group provides comprehensive legal services to help individuals like you build a strong case and fight for appropriate compensation.
Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today at (407) 454-3000 for a free consultation!