Can My Adult Disabled Child Get Child Support?
Most divorcing couples with children realize that some kind of child support order will be issued by the court, depending on the child custody order that is agreed upon. Each parent understands that regardless of whether the marriage worked out, they have an obligation to provide for their child.
Typically, child support payments last until the child turns 18 and has graduated from high school. However, what happens if your child suffers from a disability? Does a parent’s financial obligation end when the child reaches the legal age of adulthood? We have handled many child support cases, including difficult cases like the one mentioned above. If you would like to speak with one of our family lawyers to find out how our firm can help, call our office today.
What Is “Disabled”?
Each state has its own legal definition of disability regarding their family court laws, but generally, it means any mental or physical condition which limits substantially the individual’s ability at life activity. These disabilities can include psychiatric issues, physical issues, and development disorders, such as autism. Any condition that hampers an individual’s ability to care for themselves can be considered a disability.
When a couple with a disabled, adult child is divorcing, one spouse can petition the court to order the other parent to pay child support for that adult child, as long as the disability was diagnosed while the adult child was still a minor and the parent would have been liable for child support if the parents have divorce then.
For example, suppose a couple has a 30-year-old son who was in a bad accident that left him with brain damage when he was 24. The parents are now divorcing. Neither parent can request the other be ordered to pay support to help with the care of the son. But if the accident that left the son’s brain damaged occurred when he was 12, then the support order can be requested.
When considering whether a child support order for a non-minor disabled child is appropriate, the court will consider the following:
- The current and future financial resources of each parent
- The standard of living the child would have had if the parents had remained together
- The financial resources of the child, such as proceed from a personal injury lawsuit
- The eligibility of any public or private aid the child may qualify for, such as Social Security Disability, Medicaid, and any home health care programs
If the court decides to grant a child support order, there are several options for receipt of payment. They could order the parent to pay the other parent directly or the court could order a trust to be set up and the child support payments would fund the trust.
Call Our Office For Assistance
Contact trustworthy family lawyers, such as The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright to schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your unique hardship and advise you on the best way to proceed legally. Moreover, we will provide expert legal guidance that you can apply in and outside the courtroom for the best results for your child support dilemma.