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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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My soon to be ex husband is receiving social security payments

Customer Question

My soon to be ex husband is receiving social security payments for our three minor children they have lived with me since August my previous attorney said I had to agree to give their father 1/3 of the arrearages even though I didn't agree. I went to the Social Security office they read the court order and said it wasn't legal because you can't split the payments the judge ordered me to come up with the federal law that states what I was told or I have to give him the money in court on Monday. Can you help me with this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry, but I am having trouble understanding your post. Could you review it, make corrections, provide clarifying information, and resubmit? Thank you for your cooperation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can social security payments for dependent children be split between divorced parents when one has primary custody? They receive the benefits under the old age law. Their father is 71 and I am 49.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.
No, the payments cannot be split between the parents because the payments are not for the parents. The payments are solely for the benefit of the children. One of the parents, usually the one who has primary custody of the children should file to be appointed the Representative Payee so that all the payments would come to that parent. If there is already a Representative Payee, you need to go to your local Office of Social Security Administration to apply to replace the current one if the current one is not using the payments for the benefit of the children. If there is no current Representative Payee, you need to apply to be appointed the Representative Payee. This can only be done in person at the local office of the Social Security Administration. If a parent is receiving the payments, but is not using the payments for the benefits of the children, this is fraud that should be reported to the Social Security Administration. For more information on Representative Payee Program, click here.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you know of a federal law that spells out this information? The judge in my divorce says if I do not provide a federal law stating these facts I have to give their father 1/3 of the lump sum even though I have primary custody and the children have lived with me since August. They have spent the night approximately 20-30 nights since August.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc.. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 years ago.
I see your expert has opted out so hopefully I can assist you. I think the confusion here is not that the benefits cannot be divided, but that the Social Security Administration will not send the payment to two different people. Only one person may be the representative payee. After it is sent to that person, the family court can order one parent to pay a portion (or all of it) to the other. However, state law often explains how this should occur. Can you tell me in what state you live? Can you also tell me the exact wording of the order that requires you to pay him one third of the benefits?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc.. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 years ago.
Yes. Please let me know what kind of legal research do you seek?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Federal laws regarding the the division of payments of SS benefits for minors. When I applied for the lump sum payment vthe clerk said not only could they not split the payment but that I could not pay him a portion of it either. That I could pay for food with the funds and send it with them when they go for visitation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
These are truly old age benefits for the minor children. Their father is 71 and is not disabled. None of the children are disabled either. He has been receiving the funds on them for years even when they were not in his care. I applied for a change of payeevas advised by my attorney when their father did not receive the payment in October he went to the SS office and complained the funds were put on hold a waiting a court order naming a payee which was me. The court order stated the I was to receive 2/3 of the funds and their father 1/3 that was when I was informed that I was not allowed to pay him a portion of the funds once I received them.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 years ago.
While I might be able to find a citation for you given more time, I cannot do so before tomorrow morning. I understand the reasoning behind what you are saying: As a representative payee, you have an obligation to spend the funds in a certain manner. That manner of spending does not allow you to give the funds to the other parent. The problem is, I'm not sure if this is a federal law or a regulation and I don't have the resources at the moment to research it. If ou continue to have this problem after the hearing tomorrow, I can try to research it more.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 am there is a case before ours that the attorney says will probably take a few hours. Even a regulation would be greatly appreciated.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 years ago.
The problem is I don't have access to a copy of the regulations, and I suspect it is a regulation. I think this could be something that will be relevant after the hearing - possibly to challenge the decision or to use at trial. But I just can't get the information before 9 a.m. Eastern time, I'm sorry.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 years ago.
I know this is late for your hearing but I found the information you sought and I believe you can still use it to help challenge the ruling against you. First of all, 20 CFR Section(###) ###-####requires you, as a representative payee, to maintain an accounting of the SS expenditures. Second, 42 USC 408 (a) sets forth the penalties for using the funds for anything other than the benefit of the SS recipient, including "converting" the funds. Converting would be to give the funds to a third party. CFR stands for Code of Federal Regulations

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