Husband and Wife have a very young child together. Husband and Wife divorce.
Husband is court-ordered to pay long-term alimony to Wife as well as child support.
Fifteen years later, Husband retires and his income from his modest savings and social security is considerably diminished.
Like many ex-spouses paying support obligations, Husband imagines that his support obligation will automatically come to an end when he starts collecting social security (or social security disability).
But they are all wrong.
For child support and/or alimony purposes, social security and disability payments are considered income, and someone who is obligated to pay support is expected to pay support out of their social security and disability payments.
Now, if the amount of their income on social security or social security disability has shrunk, the amount of their support obligations may indeed be ripe for an adjustment.
But that generally does not happen automatically. Instead, the ex with the support obligation must apply to the court for a modification.
Read more in this ElderLawAnswers.com article: Can Social Security Benefits Be Garnished to Pay Debts?