As many Maryland parents can attest, raising a child is a lot of hard work. Caring for one also takes a lot of money and it can be difficult for a single parent to pay for all of the expenses involved. If the parent works outside the home, there are day care expenses, as well as medical bills, food, clothing, shelter and other daily expenses. It can be especially challenging when the child's father or mother refuses to pay child support. Many may not know that if the other parent is receiving certain Social Security benefits, this income can be garnished and given to the custodial parent for child support. Read on to learn more about this process.
Supplemental Security Income is a type of welfare benefit based on one's income and disability and is therefore not an earned benefit. This means that if a person is earning this type of income, it cannot be garnished for child support. However, if the parent is receiving disability, survivor or retirement benefits, those are all fair game. The first step is to go to court and let the judge know that the other parent is delinquent on payments. The judge will issue an order to withhold the support payments, which should be given to the local Social Security office.
Each state also offers child support services. These services can advise parents of their legal options and help them discover other options to get much-needed child support funds. Once the children are no longer minors, the state is no longer involved - unless you sought their services prior to your children becoming adults - and the parent must seek the services of a private lawyer.
Enforcing a child support order is not always easy. Some parents refuse to pay up and may even move out of state or even the country to avoid being caught. The local child support agency will start by garnishing wages and then seizing property. As a last resort, the delinquent parent can be jailed, but this rarely does anything to resolve the matter. It's important for a parent seeking past-due child support to work with a family law attorney who can advise the person of his or her options.
Source: Money, "How to Collect Child Support from an Ex's Social Security Benefits," Kerri Anne Renzulli, March 17, 2015