Hi, I'm a lawyer working on a child custody case. The mother is on SSDI, and we think it's possible her desire for custody stems from an attempt to increase her benefits somehow. We are wondering if it's possible to include in the settlement agreement or court order that the mother may not apply for additional benefits or has to waive part of the benefits she's already getting? I see that a court can't force you to assign your benefits to someone else, but I'm not sure if that covers our situation - we aren't trying to have the benefits go to someone else, we just want to keep the mother from getting them.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to preclude someone from claiming Social Security benefits to which they're entitled by means of a court order. Nor can a person bargain away their rights to benefits in a settlement agreement. However, Social Security benefits can be garnished for alimony, child support or federal taxes based on a court order.