Question asked on April 13, 2021

Q: I’m living with my child’s father. Due to domestic violence (proof available) and several other issues, I’m leaving the relationship. His father receives SSI and has an irrevocable trust with funds from an accident settlement awarded by Berkshire Hathaway. The monthly annuity right now is $2500 and goes up to $3000 in 2024 and $6700 in 2029. Can I file for full custody of my son (only allowing his dad supervised visitation) and request child support while we are still together? Will the child support payments increase when his monthly annuity increases? Should I hire an attorney for this?

A: Well, in order . . . you can file for pretty much anything.  SSI may not be used as a basis for child support.  The trust income would be, and the whole financial picture can be considered.  Normally, the presumption is that both parties are directly supporting the children while living together, so child support is normally not ordered while parties are living together, but there is no rule against it.  And child support is changed upon “changed circumstances” and reviewed every three years; you should review the child custody and child support information and rules here and here, and yes, it would be a very good idea to go over every aspect of your situation with a qualified family law specialist.