Support of an Adult Child with a Disability

disability, adult child, Illinois child support attorneyIn the state of Illinois, along with the rest of the country, it is understood, both statutorily and in the minds of most people, that a child deserves the support of both parents, regardless of their marital status. Most would even agree that a child deserves much more than that, but since it is impossible to legislate love and affection, the most the law can do, in many cases, is to require a parent to contribute financially to the child’s well-being. For most supporting parents, this means making monetary payments until the child reaches age 18 and graduates from high school. The obligation for certain others may extend into college, to provide help with educational expenses. If you have a child with a disability, however, you may be required to continuing providing support for many years to come.

Disability and Eligibility

Beginning in 2016, the law in Illinois regarding non-minor support will contain more specific guidelines than ever before. This is true for both support related to educational expenses and support for an adult child with a disability. A post on this blog a few weeks ago looked more in-depth into educational support, but did not really discuss adult children with disabilities.

Under the new law, to be eligible for non-minor support as the result of a disability, a child must have developed or been diagnosed with the disability while he or she was already eligible for support. This means that the disability must have arisen while the child was a minor or was eligible for support for educational expenses. Disabilities that arise later would not make an adult eligible for non-minor support.

Necessary Considerations

Due to the nature of disabilities, it is impossible to predict a timeframe for which support should be generally expected. Therefore, it is likely that a court will need to consider and reconsider such awards on an ongoing basis as the non-minor child’s needs change and evolve. In making the original award or and in any subsequent modification or termination proceedings, the court is expected to take into account:

  • The current and future financial resources of each parent, relative to their needs, including retirement savings and requirements;
  • The standard of living that the child would have enjoyed if his or her parents had not divorced, or, as the case may be, if they had gotten married;
  • The economic resources of the child; and
  • The child’s access and eligibility for financial or other resource programs, including Social Security, and home-based disability programs.

Once the support obligation of each parent is determined, the court may decide that the funds should be paid to one of the parents or used to fund a trust established for the care of the disabled child.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are the parent of a special-needs child who is approaching adulthood, you probably have many questions about what you should expect going forward. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today to get the answers you need and the peace of mind you deserve. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule your free consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

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