How the Courts are Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship: Recent Opinions on Social Security Benefits and Inheritance

Many clients come to Guest & Gray, P.C. in Forney, Texas concerned that if they are ordered to pay child support, does this mean that their social security or inheritance from an estate are subject to the child support order? The answer is plain and simple–appellate courts have held that both social security and inheritance are subject to wage withholding. This is a form of withholding to ensure that the child support payments are made. Just as your employer can be ordered to withhold an amount from your check for child support, so can the social security office. At least, this is what the Beaumont Court of Appeals held in Horton v. Horton.

Furthermore, obligor parents who receive a hefty inheritance, beware. If there is a current suit for modification of child support, according to the 5th District Court of Appeals Dallas in In the Interest of P.C.S. and L.R.S., Minor Children, this inheritance can be included in the calculation of your net resources. However, your attorney does have an argument against this based upon the dissenting opinion which held that inheritance should be viewed as an income producing asset, which would change the calculation rather than just including it in your net resources.