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I receive VA disability compensation and SSDI every month.  It’s the only money I have to survive on.  I also have a young child I haven’t seen in years because his mother won’t allow me to see him for some reason that she never explained.  I give her $400 every month for child support.  I was told I should only pay 20% of my disability pay toward child support.  Is this true?

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A1:  If you currently receive a Social Security benefit (62 yrs old and above) and if your child is under 18 years old, you can claim Social Security benefit for your child and with this you don't need to provide a monthly child support of $400. But, you need to prove to Social Security that he is your child.  (RM)  4/26/19

A2:  Your VA disability compensation can't garnish for child support like your retirement pension.  (HA)  4/26/19

A3:  You are supporting your CHILD and not the mother. Keep some kind of record so IF one day that child ask why you did not help him you can show him the proof. As far as seeing your child look for a lawyer that will take you case considering your income!  (DW)  4/26/19

A4:  You're most likely paying way to much. You need to file for a modification of your support order and give them your letter of approval for SSDI. With that child support will find out if your child is eligible for benefits of their own, that will pay your support. You'll need to actually go to court to address your visitation rights. Once its in the order you'll have a way to make the mother let you see your child or request sanctions against her for disobeying the order.   (VP)  4/26/19

A5:  No, this is not true. Each state has their own set of guidelines and calculations for minimum amount of child support. There's no cut and dry percentages. It's all based on your income and living expenses. You can go to your local court clerk and sign up for a free attorney that will counsel you on what forms to fill out and file for a court ordered amount of child support. As a disabled veteran myself I know how much you make so it will be significantly less than what you're paying now. With that said, you need to go to your local social security office and file your child with them as a dependent. Even if he/she does not live with you. They will then start paying you a child benefit. In most states, courts will accept this benefit as child support and will pay directly to the custodial parent. If the amount of court ordered support is more than the child benefit from social security you will be responsible for the difference. For example: ordered child support is $200, social security child benefit is $150. You will be responsible for the difference of $50 which you will have to pay out of pocket. Having done all of this I can tell you $400 per month is extremely high based on your income. You can start paying less but do not stop paying the support until the court has set a documented amount of support. You can do all this yourself for no fees except for filing fees with the court. Lastly, if there is no custody agreement with the court then she has no right to withhold visitation for any reason. Many women will try this out of spite. Been there. You will need to file with the court to obtain a court ordered visitation agreement. If there is a court ordered visitation then you need to file for enforcement of visitation. This will make it mandatory for her to let you see your child. If she does not, simply call the police on your visitation at time exchange of parents and she will be arrested for contempt of court. These are easy things to do that you need to take care of immediately. However, this will take some time. Months, not years. Stay diligent and keep records of everything including every payment you have made and will make. Canceled checks and receipts are the best way. If you have any questions I may be able to help with or clarify, please email me direct.  (DH)  4/26/19

A6:  Go talk to a lawyer. You do have parental rights. As to the 20%, depending on your state it could be high or low. In most states, the more you see your child the less you pay. Again go talk to a lawyer. I don't agree with all of the answers submitted thus far.  (SC)  4/26/19

A7:  Brother,I know you love your kid, but you have to tell your ex wife if you cant see the kid, the 400.00 gets cut off until you do.That kid is both of yours. You have rights. Get the child support figure on paper so its legal. You stepped over the line for this country, you have rights and let them all know about it. GOOG LUCK!!  (PD)  4/26/19

A8:  No that not true if shes not letting you see your child you dont have to give her anything I would take her to court by you being disabled you might not have to pay anything.  (LJ)  4/26/19

A9:  They can only take away from your retirement not your disability. Your retirement pay is taxed and recorded as income. If she was to file for child support the retired pay is the only source they can pull from. Sorry that u was repeative. But I have to drive that home.  (LB)  5/11/19

A10:  Hi there I'm not sure its true but I do believe its worth it to look it up legally and find out if she working and how old is your child everything plays a factor but if you are giving child support and not able to see your son you should take her to court you have fathers rights. I am in the same situation. Hang in there my friend there are so many dads out there network and share stories.. you never know you might come out even if not on top.  (MS)  5/21/19

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