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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2983
Experience:  associate attorney
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My step-daughter is now receiving over $900 per month of social

Customer Question

My step-daughter is now receiving over $900 per month of social security because her dad (My husband) is receiving social security retirement benefits. Can we use this $900.00 to offset the child support he was paying each month? He has been paying $833.00 per month for one child. She will be 18 in November of 2017.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. In a majority of the states, yes . Please see link: a child receives such retirement or disability benefits due to a noncustodial parent's retirement or disability, and this noncustodial parent is obligated to pay child support, the social security retirement or disability payments are considered income to the obligor parent. Further, the courts have adopted essentially three approaches to the question of how to treat the receipt of these benefits with regard to the retired or disabled parent's child support obligation:(1) the court may give a dollar-for-dollar credit for the Social Security benefit received against the child support obligation;(2) the court may or may not give a dollar-for-dollar credit, depending on the circumstances of the case;(3) the court may not give a dollar-for-dollar credit against the child support obligation, but must consider the child's receipt of the Social Security benefits as a factor in determining the child's needs.First, the overwhelming majority of states that have considered the question of how a court should consider a child's receipt of Social Security dependency benefits in the determination of an individual's child support obligations have allowed the child support obligor a dollar-for-dollar credit against the amount of Social Security benefits received by the child. Harbison v. Harbison, 688 So. 2d 876 (Ala. Civ. App. 1997) (Social Security received by child on account of former husband's disability is income to him, and he is entitled to credit); Self v. Self, 685 So. 2d 732 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996) (it is an abuse of discretion to deny father credit for Social Security benefits received by child on account of father's disability); Miller v. Miller, 890 P.2d 574 (Alaska 1995); Cash v. Cash, 234 Ark. 603, 353 S.W.2d 348 (1962); Lopez v. Lopez, 125 Ariz. 309, 609 P.2d 579 (Ct. App. 1980); In re Marriage of Denny, 115 Cal. App. 3d 543, 171 Cal. Rptr. 440 (1981); Williams v. Williams, 560 So. 2d 308 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1990); Perteet v. Sumner, 246 Ga. 182, 269 S.E.2d 453 (1980) (citing Horton v. Horton, 219 Ga. 177, 132 S.E.2d 200 (1963)); In re Marriage of Henry, 156 Ill. 2d 541, 622 N.E.2d 803 (1993); Childerson v. Hess, 198 Ill. App. 3d 395, 555 N.E.2d 1070 (1990); Newman v. Newman, 451 N.W.2d 843 (Iowa 1990) (citing Potts v. Potts, 240 N.W.2d 680 (Iowa 1976)); In re Marriage of Dyer, 21 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1591 (Iowa Ct. App. Sept. 22, 1995); Ellis v. Berry, 19 Kan. App. 2d 105, 867 P.2d 1063 (1993); Andler v. Andler, 217 Kan. 538, 538 P.2d 649 (1975); Miller v. Miller, 929 S.W.2d 202 (Ky. Ct. App. 1996); Folds v. Lebert, 420 So. 2d 715 (La. Ct. App. 1982); Cohen v. Murphy, 368 Mass. 144, 330 N.E.2d 473 (1975); Frens v. Frens, 191 Mich. App. 654, 478 N.W.2d 750 (1991); Mooneyham v. Mooneyham, 420 So. 2d 1072 (Miss. 1982); Weaks v. Weaks, 821 S.W.2d 503 (Mo. 1991) (en banc); McClaskey v. McClaskey, 543 S.W.2d 832 (Mo. Ct. App. 1976); In re Cowan, 279 Mont. 491, 928 P.2d 214 (1996); Hanthorn v. Hanthorn, 236 Neb. 225, 460 N.W.2d 650 (1990); Griffin v. Avery, 120 N.H. 783, 424 A.2d 175 (1980); Romero v. Romero, 101 N.M. 345, 682 P.2d 201 (Ct. App. 1984); Guthmiller v. Guthmiller, 448 N.W.2d 643 (N.D. 1989); McClure v. McClure, 22 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1566 (Ohio Ct. App. 9/27/96); Young v. Young, 105 Ohio App. 3d 701, 664 N.E.2d 1232 (1995); Nazworth v. Nazworth, 931 P.2d 86 (Okla. Ct. App. 1996); Wilson v. Stenwall, 868 P.2d 1317 (Okla. Ct. App. 1992); Preston v. Preston, 435 Pa. Super. 459, 646 A.2d 1186 (1994); Children & Youth Services v. Chorgo, 341 Pa. Super. 512, 491 A.2d 1374 (1985); Pontbriand v. Pontbriand, 622 A.2d 482 (R.I. 1993); Lovett v. Lovett, 311 S.C. 279, 428 S.E.2d 874 (1993); Grunewaldt v. Bisson, 494 N.W.2d 193 (S.D. 1992); Hawkins v. Peterson, 474 N.W.2d 90 (S.D. 1991); Johnson v. Johnson, 948 S.W.2d 835 (Tex. Civ. App. 1997); In re Interest of Allsup, 926 S.W.2d 323 (Tex. Ct. App. 1996); Brooks (Nunley) v. Brooks, 881 P.2d 955 (Utah 1994); Davis v. Davis, 141 Vt. 398, 449 A.2d 947 (1982); Whitaker v. Colbert, 18 Va. App. 202, 442 S.E.2d 429 (1994); Farley v. Farley, 186 W. Va. 263, 412 S.E.2d 261 (1991); Hinckley v. Hinckley, 812 P.2d 907 (Wyo. 1991). The courts have based their decisions on the premise that Social Security benefits paid to children represent substituted income that is otherwise due to the obligor parent. In essence, a payor spouse is entitled to a credit for Social Security disability benefits received by that spouse's children, because the benefits represent a substitute for the payor's income. The benefits are thus substitute support, as support is derived from income.This approach has also been adopted in the majority of states that addressed the issue in the guidelines themselves. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-115(16.5) (in cases where the custodial parent receives Social Security benefits on behalf of the children due to the disability or retirement of the noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent's share of the total child support obligation shall be reduced in an amount equal to the amount of such benefits); Conn. C.S. and Arrearage G. (noncustodial parent receives credit for any Social Security benefits payable under such parent's account on behalf of the subject child); Idaho R. Civ. Pro. 6(c)(6)(sec. 11) (when disability or retirement benefits are received by child, the amount of compensation paid for the children shall be treated for all purposes as if the disabled or retired person paid the compensation toward the satisfaction of the support obligation and any arrearage); Mich. C.S.G., II(D) (when children receive dependent benefits based on the earnings record of the noncustodial parent, those benefits shall not be considered income to the custodial parent, but shall be considered payment toward the noncustodial parent's obligation of support); Utah Code Ann. § 78-45-7.7 (Social Security benefits received by a child due to the earnings of a parent may be credited as child support to the parent upon whose earnings record it is based). 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Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?