If you have received a personal injury settlement recently, you most likely have found yourself contemplating how it might influence your child support payments. It is commonly known that courts will always base the amount of child support on the particular needs of the child and the available resources of the parents. However, when one parent comes into new resources, the court will probably review and adjust the child support payment to reflect the parent’s new income, as a family lawyer, can explain. This decision is contingent on a few factors like what you receive in the settlement, what it is for exactly, what you have already been paying and if it is essential for you to have to pay even more to your former partner to provide for your child’s needs.
The Reason for the Settlement Matters
In many cases, personal injury settlements pay for medical expenses. Oftentimes, like with car crashes, payment for medical bills does not present a parent with new income. It is nontaxable and documented strictly for medical expenses. A court will not require you to pay any more child support than you are already paying if the settlement only covers your medical costs. However, if you have been seriously or even permanently hurt by an accident, you may be awarded lost wages and pain and suffering wages. Lost wages is compensation given in a settlement that you could have made working if you were not hurt. If you were awarded lost wages, the court will review your child support payments and see if they should go up or stay the same. The court might announce that the person paying child support has now come into more money and resources that they may use to support his or her child.
One-time Payments Versus Regular Payments
The settlement can be either a one-time lump sum payment or small regular monthly payment. Both need to be taken into account because one-time payment settlements are not usually included in child support calculations by a court. This is because one time payments (or lump sums) can include winnings from gambling or an inheritance that you could have obtained. The court’s main goal is for the child to have access to resources available they may have had lest her or his parents stayed together. The court, rest assured, will always carry out whatever decision regarding child support that is best for the child.
Call a law office today to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation.