Child Support and Alimony Obligations

Workers’ compensation is a vital insurance program that aids individuals injured in the workplace, regardless of fault. It helps with medical expenses and replaces a portion of your wages while you recover from a workplace accident. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to assist workers injured on the job, irrespective of who was at fault. Almost all employers with at least one employee must have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance serves as a safety net for injured workers, providing financial support and preventing economic hardship when an accident hinders their ability to return to work promptly.

Child Support and Workers’ Compensation

In a divorce settlement, child support payments are the monetary obligations that you have to fulfill. These payments, often made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, help raise a child and maintain their standard of living. Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid to a former spouse to help them maintain their standard of living post-divorce.

Despite living off reduced income while recovering from a workplace injury, Maryland law, like many others, still requires you to pay your court-ordered financial obligations, including alimony and child support. This can be challenging because the amount of money you collect from workers’ compensation is a smaller percentage of your actual wages. If you don’t have savings, you may face financial difficulties.

Modifying Child Support Payments

While the law requires continuing child support and alimony payments while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the payment amount remains unchanged. There’s a possibility for you to decrease the amount of child support you pay while you’re on workers’ compensation benefits.  For example, Maryland employs the Child Support Guidelines formula to determine the child support amount a parent must pay post-divorce.

This formula considers each parent’s monthly income, work-related child care, medical, and health insurance expenses. If a significant event, such as a sudden accident or illness, alters one parent’s financial situation, the individual may petition the court to modify the child support agreement terms. A downward modification can lower child support payments, providing some financial relief.

Alterations to Alimony Payments

Just like child support, alimony payments must continue during your recovery period. However, if you can demonstrate to a judge that there has been a substantial change in your income due to a workplace accident, you might be able to secure an alimony modification to decrease your payments. This modification is an adjustment reflecting your new financial circumstances.

Implications of Non-compliance with Child Support Obligations

Failing to make child support payments while receiving workers’ comp can put you in a precarious situation. Regardless of the complexity of your new financial situation, it’s crucial not to cease your child support or alimony payments without first consulting an experienced attorney. There can be severe repercussions for failing to pay child support.

Maryland law adheres to the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, which permits wage garnishment for non-payment of child support and alimony. You could request the court for earnings withholding order, enabling the payments you owe to be deducted from your paycheck, unemployment benefits, Social Security, or workers’ compensation payments.

Garnishment of Workers’ Compensation for Child Support

Workers’ compensation benefits are not immune to garnishment for child support. Child support can be garnished from parents’ workers’ compensation benefits to pay for the basic needs of their children, which do not end because a parent is injured in a workplace accident. This is crucial, as many individuals mistakenly believe these benefits are exempt from such deductions.

Other Benefits Subject to Child Support Garnishment

In addition to workers’ compensation, other types of benefits can also be garnished for child support. For instance, unemployment benefits can be withheld for child support payments. Even if a paying parent starts receiving certain benefits, there is a good chance that those benefits can be taken for child support arrears. Social Security Disability (SSDI) income can also be garnished for child support because it is counted as income to pay child support. However, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cannot be garnished for paying child support as it is prohibited by federal law.

Consequences of Non-Payment of Child Support

Failing to pay your court-ordered financial obligations can cause significant legal problems and worsen your situation. If you fall behind on child support payments, the local child support agency has several collection tools. They can withhold your income through an income withholding order, levy your bank accounts, suspend your licenses, place liens on your property, intercept your tax refund, and even report the arrears on your credit.

Seeking Legal Help

If you lose your job or become disabled, it’s advisable to contact a legal professional from Trollinger Law to file a motion with the court requesting a downward modification of your child support payments. This can mean huge savings to you, so it’s well worth finding out if you’re eligible to reduce your support obligation. An experienced attorney can guide you through this process, helping to reduce stress during this challenging time.


When you experience a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation benefits can provide crucial financial support. However, additional obligations such as child support and alimony can exacerbate an already difficult situation. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Trollinger Law about your situation and effects of child support on Workers comp. They can advise on what to do if you cannot fulfill your child support or alimony responsibilities, work to find more favorable solutions to your new financial situation, and pursue ways to reduce your child support and alimony payments.

By Caitlyn