Did you know that if your child receives any type of derivative government benefits (like social security) that amount must be included in the child support worksheet; and if the amount exceeds your total obligation, your child support could be set at $0, retroactive to your date of disability.
In the NJ – there is a statute that says child support cannot be terminated retroactive beyond the date of filing of the application or motion for the reduction of child support. Despite this statue the Hunnell Law Group was able to successfully reduce our client’s child support to 2009 and in doing so, we secured a six-figure credit for the overpayment of support. Why/How? Because in addition to emancipation, the receipt of derivative government benefits is an exception to the anti-retroactivity statute and a payor is entitled to relief going back to the date of their first application (or the date of disability, depending on the circumstances).
In our case, the appellate division confirmed our argument that when a parent is receiving child support and social security benefits for their children, they are actually being paid twice, which results in a windfall to the parent of primary residence since there is no entitlement to the second payment. In our case, our client on his own, filed a motion for the reduction back in 2009. Unfortunately, the court found that he did not provide all the appropriate paperwork. He tried again in 2010 and again his papers were denied. He essentially gave up and was subject to having is license suspended, passport revoked, and even bench warrants because he simply wasn’t able to afford support. That’s when he found us and we doggedly worked his file because we knew that the just result was a credit.
If you want to learn more, click here to read the full case.
Stephanie Hunnell, Esq. , Ryan Westerman, Esq. and Caitlin Holland, Esq.