NLSP assists both custodial and non-custodial parents. For low-income, non-custodial parents, child support obligations that exceed their ability to pay can have devastating, destabilizing consequences. In a recent case, such an unrealistic child support order nearly left a disabled client homeless.

When his child support payments were originally set, Mr. T was a successful engineer with a moderate income. However, three years ago, Mr. T suffered a stroke which left him permanently disabled. He was unable to work and moved into an assisted living facility. His only income was Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) , which was barely enough to cover the monthly fees at his assisted living facility, let alone medication and other care.

Mr. T still owed child support based on his pre-stroke income but was falling further and further behind. The Social Security Administration withheld 65% of Mr. T's monthly check to pay his child support and arrears, leaving him less than $700 to pay for his monthly expenses. His savings ran out and he fell behind on his bills at the assisted living facility and the pharmacy.

Mr . T was then hospitalized again. While he was in the hospital, he was evicted from his assisted living facility for underpayment of residence fees. The hospital threatened to release him to a homeless shelter, where he could not receive the medical care he needed.

NLSP's intervention prevented these dire results. We obtained a modification of Mr. T's child support order, enabling him to secure stable housing in a new assisted living facility where he could receive the care he required and make realistic child support payments.