Let’s say you’re a parent who pays for child support, but you experienced a serious injury at your job—an injury that keeps you from being able to work. You make workers’ compensation claims, and your employer agrees to them to help you make ends meet. Good. But now you’re not sure how your workers’ comp and child support payments affect each other.
All of a sudden, new questions start flowing: Is workers’ comp subject to child support? If so, how much can child support take from a workers’ comp settlement? How am I going to make this work?
Step one: Don’t panic.
Step two: Read this post.
Step three: Call your child support lawyer in Texas.
Is workers’ comp subject to child support? Yes.
Even though you might only be making a fraction of what you were making before, your workers’ comp is subject to child support. Workers’ compensation is considered income, so unless you are proactive about your situation, you will still be liable for the full amount of child support that you’ve always been liable for.
And here’s why …
Whether you’re fully healthy or not, you’re still a parent, which means you’re still responsible for fulfilling your child support obligations—on time and in full. Welcome to workers’ comp child support payments. (Don’t shoot the messenger.)
If you fail to pay child support while receiving workers’ comp benefits, then your benefits can be affected. And if for some reason you’re already behind on child support payments, these benefits can be subject to past-due support fees, as well.
Your options for dealing with workers’ comp & child support
When it comes to child support and workers’ comp, you have a handful of options. Here’s what you can do to make sure your workers’ comp and child support payments don’t become one and the same:
- Talk to the other parent. Whether you had a relatively peaceful, no-fault divorce in Texas or an all-out schism, you still might be able to reach some type of agreement. Perhaps you can pay less or even pause support obligations until you’re working again. However, we’re obviously talking best case scenario here. It’s common for separated parents to be on not-so-great speaking terms. Just remember: no agreement between parents will signify unless it is cleared by the court; you’ll need to submit a new order (either together or via an attorney) to lower payment amounts.
- File a motion. If you’re making less than what you were making before, then you can always file a motion with the court to reduce child support via child support modification in Texas. If you can, do this quickly, or unpaid child support will start to pile up. And at the end of the day, the court will use the typical child support payment equation to come up with your new child support payments—this equation does not take regard as to whether that leaves you with enough to pay for living expenses or not.
- Don’t disappear or act up. Chances are that you’re not in the best places right now, but nevertheless, it’s extremely important that you try to continue to fulfill your child support obligations as best you can. If you stop paying your child support or turn sketchy, like fathers who want custody to avoid child support, it’s extremely unlikely the court will look on you with any sympathy.
- Talk to an attorney. You may not want to hear it, but in this case, an attorney might be your best option, especially if you’re already on shaky grounds with the other parent. A child support attorney can help you make the most sense out of your workers’ comp and child support situation. They are professionals who can help you find the least “expensive” path to take and, in some cases, even help you stop child support payments in Texas.
Speaking of a child support attorney …
Thiessen Law Firm’s Taly Thiessen is a top authority on Houston family law and a leading father’s rights lawyer in Houston. She can help you understand your workers’ compensation and child support situation, and she can also advocate for an outcome that doesn’t leave your bank account completely drained. Give us a call at (713) 864-9000 or fill out the form to schedule your consultation.