Adams v. Adams
April 20, 2012
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS RULES THAT CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGER IS ALLOWED A DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR CREDIT AWARDED AGAINST HIS OR HER CHILD SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.
The parties of this case were divorced in 2007. The father stated he would pay the amount of $2,000 per month in child support, as well as tuition for private schooling, fees, books, and other school-related costs beginning when the child entered kindergarten. Also, the father agreed to establish a trust fund intended for the child with a college savings plan. In 2009, the father entered a petition to modify the divorce decree. The mother responded by filing a counterclaim wishing to increase child support. At this time, the father reached age 66 and began collecting Social Security. Simultaneously, their child began receiving related benefits. In 2010, the father claimed he was eligible to receive a dollar for dollar credit toward his child support requirements. At trial, the father produced evidence to support an increase of annual income, while the mother showed evidence of a decrease in annual income. However, the trial court denied both requests.
Decision: Reversed. The court ruled that the child support provider is entitled to a credit when the child is receiving Social Security benefits. Also, no evidence had been presented to the court that the child’s needs had become greater and the court decided that the mothers income was not relevant to the issue at hand.