Parents considering divorce with a special needs child want to ensure that their child’s financial needs are taken care of. While child support orders typically impose a support obligation until a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates high school, parents of a special needs child may want to extend the child support obligation well into adulthood.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court can order parents to continue to provide support to a special needs child after the age of 18. Parents of a child who is physically or mentally disabled whose impairment substantially limits major life activities may be ordered to pay support after considering the parents resources and ability to provide for their own future including retirement.
An agreement addressing the support of a special needs child after he or she reaches the age of majority can be filed with the court that has jurisdiction over the matter while the child is still a minor, or after the child turns 18. If one parent does not fulfil their obligation, the recipient parent can petition the court to enforce the order.
Often times, a special needs child is eligible for Medicaid or Supplemental security income benefits, which may be reduced if a child receives ongoing child support. However, parents may be able to set up a special needs trust for their child to ensure continued eligibility for government benefits while providing additional financial support.
It is important to work with an experienced child support attorney to obtain support for an adult child with special needs disabilities in a divorce. Contact the Libertyville Illinois law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for immediate assistance today at 847-495-6000.