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VA Disability & Child Support

Posted on Tue, Dec 27, 2016

Florida law requires courts to include VA disability benefits received by a party when calculating child support.  Florida statutes 61.30 specifically enumerates “disability benefits” to be included as “gross income:”  (2) income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:  (a) gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following:  (4) disability benefits.

In Maslow vs. Edwards, an appellate court specifically ruled on this issue, and found that Veteran’s disability benefits should be included in child support calculations.  The Maslow court further specified the proper procedure for cases where VA disability benefits are paid directly to a minor child, as well as to the other parent.  “When a parent is receiving Social Security disability due to the disability and, as a result, his or her children receive independent benefits, the total benefits received by or on behalf of that parent are attributed to the disabled parent as income in the child support guideline calculation.  The dependent benefits are then credited toward the disabled parent’s obligation, that is, they are a payment of the obligation on behalf of the disabled parent.  If the benefits are less than the support obligation, the disabled parent must pay the difference.  If they are more, the benefits pay the obligation in full, but any excess INAUDIBLE to the benefit of the children.”

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