Personal Injury Awards and Child Support Obligations

Personal Injury Awards and Child Support Obligations

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have won money from a personal injury settlement, you should know that your child support payment schedules may change. It is recommended to speak with an attorney if this is your situation because your schedule can be affected in a few different ways. Here is some general information for your reference before you visit an attorney. Remember, it is always preferable to consult a professional. 

  1. Compensating for Overdue Payments

As a personal injury lawyer from a firm like The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can explain, Sometimes people who experience severe injuries are unable to work. Understandably, this may result in back child support payments. However, your obligations are not paused by a personal injury claim or by the injury itself. Your award may be used to compensate for those back payments and for future installments. 

  1. State Consideration of Personal Income and Tax Status

Personal injury settlements are considered personal income in most states which mean they can be taxed and used in a calculation or recalculation of child support obligation. States that do not consider it personal income may vary case by case on the eligibility of the settlement for personal or community property. 

  1. Worth of the Settlement Award

Larger awards are more likely to increase child support payments for the recipient, particularly if punitive damages are awarded. If the settlement covers medical expenses and daily living amenities, then you may see no change at all in your schedule. 

  1. Compensation for Lost Wages Applied to Child Support 

You may have to take time off of work in order to properly heal from your injury which can lead to lost wages. Since this is a likely damage listed in a personal injury claim, any portion of the award relating to this category is eligible for garnishment. If this is relevant to your situation, then you should consult a lawyer to figure out how your settlement will be affected. Remember that if you are current in your payments, you may see little to no change at all. 

It is always best to consult a lawyer about the particulars of your case. Be sure that you are up-to-date on payments so that the least amount is garnished from your award. If your injury and claim process have prevented you from making payments, it is even more reason to seek professional legal advice. 

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