Sunday, March 23, 2014

Social Security and Child Support: Credit vs. Reimbursement

The Kentucky Court of Appeals opinion in N.J.S. v. C.D.G., No. 2013-CA-001110-MR, March 21, 2014, involved the non-custodial parent's request for a child support credit under KRS 403.211(15) and reimbursement for past child support payment because of the child's award of Social Security dependent retirement benefits with a back payment of some $23,000. The Court of Appeals strictly construed the language of KRS 403.211(15), which speaks only of "money received by a child as a result of parental disability," and did not extend that provision to money received by the child as a result of parental retirement.

Be that as it may, the most interesting part the case was not addressed by the Court of Appeals. Granting a child support credit because of a child's receipt of Social Security benefits, whether by reason of retirement or disability, is one thing, but granting a reimbursement from the child's Social Security benefits is something else indeed. The idea runs face-first into the long standing federal exemption for Social Security benefits and the fiduciary duties imposed by federal regulations for alternate payees appointed to receive a minor child's benefits. See: Brief: Federal Exemptions for Veteran’s and Social Security Benefit.

No comments:

Post a Comment