Raising a child with a disability can be an extremely meaningful and rewarding experience. However, it can also bring on significant personal and financial challenges. When a parent has a child with a disability, the child may need extra assistance with daily living tasks like dressing and eating. The child may also require extensive medical care, special education, or tutoring. For parents of disabled children, these challenges do not disappear when the child reaches age 18. Consequently, some divorced and unmarried parents are entitled to financial assistance from the other parent even after their child has reached adulthood.
In Illinois, both parents are expected to financially contribute to their child’s needs even if they are unmarried or divorced. Child support obligations typically cease when the child turns 18 or completes high school. However, If your child has an intellectual disability, developmental disability, physical impairment, or medical condition that limits his or her independence, you may be responsible for his or her care for many more years. You can better ensure that you have the financial resources to provide for this care by petitioning for non-minor child support payments that continue beyond your child’s eighteenth birthday.
Individuals with disabilities may not be financially self-supporting as an adult. Consequently, the child and the parent primarily responsible for caretaking responsibilities may need financial assistance from the other parent. To qualify for non-minor child support, you will generally need to show that:
Your child suffers from an impairment that significantly limits his or her ability to care for himself or herself
The disability was diagnosed before the child reached adulthood
When deciding whether to award non-minor child support for a disabled child, the courts will consider factors such as:
Each parent’s financial and employment circumstances
The ability of the obligor parent to pay child support
The child’s own financial resources including government assistance such as Social Security disability benefits
Whether non-minor child support will place an undue financial burden on a parent
The standard of living that the child would have experienced if the parents were married
Parents of disabled children may be entitled to support even after their child reaches adulthood. If you are interested in seeking non-minor support or you have other needs related to child support, contact a DuPage County child support lawyer at J. Aldrich Law, P.C. Our skilled team understands the complexities associated with obtaining non-minor child support and how to overcome these obstacles. Call our office today at 630-953-3000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.