Can a Personal Injury Settlement Affect Child Support Payments?
If you are awarded a personal injury settlement while also paying child support, then your monthly child support payments may be affected. Because a settlement alters your finances, you are expected to notify the court of your recent personal injury settlement, especially if the injury may have impacted your ability to make payments. A family lawyer can help you determine whether your payments will be affected. Listed below are some ways in which your personal injury settlement may affect your child support payments:
- Settlement as Taxable or Nontaxable Income:
In many states, a personal injury statement is considered as part of your personal income, meaning that it can be taxed and considered when calculating your child support payments. Depending on how your state calculates child support payments, the settlement may increase your payments. Other states, however, have limitations on what is considered taxable personal income, so it is important to learn in what ways your settlement is considered in your state.
- Applicable Worth:
The way in which a personal injury settlement affects child support payments largely depends on the amount of your settlement in comparison to the cost of damages being compensated for. If your settlement award is just enough to cover medical expenses and lost wages, then the child support payments will probably not be affected. Conversely, if you received a substantial award that significantly outweighs that cost of damages, then, depending on your state jurisdiction, you may be required to pay more in child support each month.
- Overdue Child Support Payments:
If you suffered a serious injury, it is understandable that you may have missed a few child support payments during that time. You are, however, still responsible for making up any overdue payments. A personal injury settlement can be used to pay any overdue child support payments. In cases where you refuse or fail to make these payments, then there is a possibility that they can be retrieved from your settlement award.
- Loss of Wages:
If you suffered a severe injury that prevented you from working, then you may have suffered a loss of wages. In some cases, this could affect your income and child support payments, as well as your ability to make the payments. A personal injury lawsuit, however, provides compensation for damages such as lost wages, so the settlement will be used in place of any lost income. As such, you may have to use your settlement award to pay overdue child support payments.
A family law attorney Austin, TX trusts will be your best option for determining how a personal injury settlement may affect you and child support payments.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Ryan S. Dougay for their insight into child custody and family law.