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Social Security Disability Held Not To Discharge Child Support Duties

Just because a parent qualifies for Social Security disability benefits does not necessarily mean he or she is unable to pay child support, a New Jersey trial judge says. A declaration of disability by the Social Security Administration “cannot automatically be interpreted by the family court as a finding … that the party cannot work at all,” wrote Ocean County Family Part Judge Louis Jones in Gilligan v. Gilligan, FM-15-807-02. The ruling, approved Tuesday for publication, places the burden on parents claiming disability to prove that they are unable to pay anything and makes it clear that it is not enough just to brandish a disability award letter.

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