January 22, 2019

Disabled Husband Not Paying Temporary Child Support

I recently received this question from a visitor to this site:

I filed for divorce about a year ago and my husband moved out last September. He is on SSDI. My children receive SSDI  checks [auxiliary beneficiaries] monthly.  Is this considered “child support”?

My children are 19 (she no longer receives checks) 14 and 10. The total they receive is $686/mo. We have not even been to court yet and I am paying for 1st and 2nd mortgages, health insurance, car payment, insurance for myself and my 19 year old, all utilities and all our our marital debt (@$30,000.00) all on my own.  He does not give me any money.

Here are my thoughts: in general, the auxiliary benefits associated with your husband’s SSDI payments will be considered child support.  However, you should with a lawyer in your state to confirm this.

You obviously feel that he is not paying you nearly enough, and it does appear that the financial burden of raising your children has fallen upon you.  My question – have you not spoken to a lawyer?  Most states provide for some form of temporary child support while you are waiting for a trial date.   You will only become entitled to child support when it is ordered by a judge.  As long as you sit on the sidelines and do nothing, not child support will become due.   Right now, your husband is not paying any child support because legally he is not required to do so.   You need to force the issue.

In most states, the amount of child support payable is calculated based on the non-custodial parent’s income and the needs of the children.   Assuming your husband is truly disabled from all work, this is not a case where a judge can “encourage” the non-custodial father to get a second income to support his children.   At this point, he is not paying any of his income (his SSDI) towards child support.  However, it seems to me that both you and your soon to be ex-husband are going to be living with very tight finances and that pain needs to be shared and not borne by you alone.