Do I pay child support for a child already receiving disability payments?

Question:Cordell & Cordell attorney Andrea Miller

My minor child is disabled and receives disability benefits. Will I be required to pay child support if he is already receiving support from the government?



The answer to your question is that it depends. Child support is calculated by taking each parent’s gross monthly income and applying it to a formula. There are some circumstances where some expenses can be credited, i.e. health insurance. There has been case law in North Carolina that states that “the supporting parent who can do so remains obligated to support his or her minor children, even though [the minor children] may have property of their own.”

In that case the children had their own separate estates. There have been other cases that have stated that the courts are allowed to refuse to credit the supporting parent with the income received directly to the child.

However, it is possible that you have an argument in favor of using the income received from the child. More information would need to be obtained to make a sound decision regarding whether or not the court will take into consideration the disability payments.

Cordell & Cordell does have offices in North Carolina that would be happy to assist you in determining whether or not these disability payments are a factor in your child support calculations. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney client relationship.


Andrea Miller is a Staff Attorney in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Miller is licensed in the state of North Carolina. Ms. Miller received her undergraduate degree in History and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While in law school, she on the Client Counseling Team for Moot Court and became a board member. Ms. Miller also participated in UNC’s Legal Assistance Clinic whereby she helped represent indigent clients obtain legal counsel primarily in the area of domestic relations.

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