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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2363
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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I live in Massachusetts. In 2007 my ex-wife began receiving

Resolved Question:

I live in Massachusetts. In 2007 my ex-wife began receiving SSDI benefits for her ($350/week) and for the two kids ($100/week each). I have been paying 500/week in child support since 2003 and $350/week in alimony. Can I file for a modification on the child support, and if so should I get a credit for the $200/week that my ex-wife now receives in SSDI benefits for the kids? If the judge agrees can he just increase my alimony thus eliminating any benefit to me? Thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 4 years ago.

Steven Kincaid :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Steven Kincaid :

For child support purposes, the Social Security received by your ex-wife is income. So, if her income is now higher than it was when child support was entered, this could be a basis for a downward modification.

Steven Kincaid :

If the payment for the children was from your account rather than you ex-wife's, you would be entitled to a credit under a case called Rosenberg v. Merida.

Steven Kincaid :

However, since it was not on your account, you are not entitled to any credit.

Steven Kincaid :

A reduction in child support does not justify an increase in alimony. However, you would benefit by characterizing payments as alimony instead of child support because alimony is tax deductible and child support is not.

Customer:

Thank you. I did see that case but was hoping that it did not matter which parent was receiving the benefit, only that the benefit was new and was, in effect, support for the children. This is disappointing to say the least. At least it is recognized as income.

Steven Kincaid :

Yes, at least it is income. Do you have any further questions?

Customer:

No, that was helpful. Thank you.

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