A parent in Connecticut who is owed back child support by their ex may be able to have the state collect payments from their ex’s Social Security benefits. However, if the noncustodial parent only receives Supplemental Security Income, these payments cannot be garnished for unpaid child support because they are legally considered a welfare benefit.
When a parent is not paying child support, any monthly Social Security benefits that they receive besides SSI can be garnished by the state by up to 65 percent. The percentage that is withheld may be less than 65 percent if the parent has another dependent child or spouse. Deductions from Social Security benefits will only be made while the noncustodial parent is collecting the benefits. If the parent stops collecting the benefits, the order for garnishment will be kept on file.
The process of seeking a garnishment order for unpaid child support will be different depending on the age of the children involved. When the children are still minors, the custodial parent can apply for child support services that are offered by the state. Once children have reached adulthood, a parent will need to enlist the help of a private attorney in order to pursue garnishment of their ex’s Social Security benefits.
There are other ways to enforce a child support order besides garnishment of Social Security benefits. In some cases, funds from the noncustodial parent’s bank account can be seized for unpaid child support. A parent who is not receiving the child support that they were awarded in court might want to speak with an attorney about child support enforcement.