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Child Support for Children with Disabilities

 Posted on February 10, 2017 in Child Support

Texas complex custody attorney, Texas child support attorneyGenerally, parents are not required to pay child support once a child turns 18 years old, graduates from high school, gets married, or is legally emancipated. However, there is an exception to this rule when a child is disabled. In these situations, one or both of the child’s parents can be ordered to continue to provide child support payments, even after the child turns 18 years old or completes high school. It can be difficult to determine what constitutes a disability for the purposes of child support, so if you are divorced and your child struggles with a disability, it is critical to retain the services of an experienced child support attorney who can help you ensure that your child will be provided for in the future.

Eligibility for Child Support for an Indefinite Period of Time

In Texas, the court can order parents to provide child support for a child over the age of 18 years old for an indefinite period of time when the child:

  • Needs significant care and supervision because of a disability and is not capable of supporting him or herself; and
  • The disability is present, or the cause of the disability is known to be present, on or before the child’s 18th birthday.

To obtain child support for a disabled child, the parent or guardian who retains physical custody of the child must bring the suit in court. If, based on the evidence presented, a judge determines that an individual over the age of 18 meets the criteria of disabled, he or she can order either one or both parents to pay child support. In these types of situations, the court also designates a parent to receive the support for the child, although the court can also allow a child who is over the age of 18 years old to receive the support directly.

Determining Child Support

Although Texas law provides a series of specific guidelines that courts must follow when determining the amount of child support that a non-disabled child’s parents must pay, no similar rules regarding how much a parent must pay to support a disabled child exist. Instead, family courts are required to assess each situation on a case by case basis, while also considering:

  • Whether the child has any current or future needs regarding care and personal supervision that are directly related to his or her mental or physical disability;
  • Whether one parent currently pays for or offers care and supervision or is willing to provide substantial care or personal supervision in the future;
  • Each parent’s financial situation and the resources at his or her disposal that can be used for the support, supervision, or care of the child; and
  • Any other financial resources or programs available for the child’s support.

Call an Experienced Child Support Attorney Today

If you have questions or concerns about your disabled child’s rights to child support, please contact the legal team at Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC. Our skilled Leander child support attorneys can help you today.




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