Social Security payments possible support option

As the Florida population ages, residents may wonder if child support due from a non-custodial parent can be collected from Social Security payments. The answer depends on what kind of Social Security the other parent is collecting.

No money can be taken from a person's Supplemental Security Income. This money is actually not from the Social Security Administration but from the general tax fund and is a type of welfare to help cover basic housing and food needs. Social Security payments, however, that are tied to retirement or disability and have been accumulated through the non-custodial parent's employment years are subject to being withheld to help pay child support.

If the children are still minors, the state may provide assistance with the paperwork required to receive a portion of the monthly Social Security payment. If the children are no longer minors, a parent may need to seek private assistance in order to secure payments. Federal law allows up to 65 percent of an ex-spouse's monthly Social Security payment to be withheld for support. Several considerations could make this amount less, including if the ex is supporting additional children or spouses.

The order to divert a portion of the Social Security payment to the custodial parent as child support has to be initiated by a judge. Many parents may want to consider the services of an attorney to collect either amounts due now are monies that were owed in past years and are now past due. As employment, retirement and other financial situations change in parent's life, the custodial parent may want to be sure the support agreement is modified to ensure that the best interest of the child is always considered.

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