When you have custody of a child with disabilities, you might be wondering how the rules of child support might apply to him or her, or if it automatically stops at the child’s eighteenth birthday. The answer is, of course, that it depends on the specifics of your case, but it is possible for child support to continue after his or her eighteenth birthday if the child has a mental or physical disability that renders him or her unable to earn a living and without sufficient means. If this is the case for your child, both parents are expected to continue to provide financial support indefinitely.
While this sounds relatively straightforward, a case such as this can become complicated, especially when getting into the weeds of how the law is worded. You and your former spouse might disagree on whether or not your child is truly incapable of earning a living, or if he or she is simply unwilling to try. In this case, your young adult will be subjected to an independent medical exam to confirm the disability.
Additionally, there might also be a question of what it means to be without sufficient means. It is possible for a disabled young adult to be rejected for Social Security benefits, but still be considered unable to work by family court, leaving the child destitute in the absence of parental support.
Depending on the financial standing of both parents, the court will determine how financially liable you are for the disabled young adult. For example, if you have substantial financial means, you might have a more significant financial obligation and will likely have to support your child indefinitely. Given the contentious nature of this situation, it is best to consult a family law attorney as soon as possible to ensure the process goes smoothly and the interests of you and your child are protected.
Sarasota Family Law Attorney
For years, Boeller Law, P.A., has represented divorcing spouses, child custody disputes, and mediation cases. We understand the sensitive nature of family law and are here to provide our clients with the compassion and attention they deserve throughout this emotional and difficult time in their lives.
Contact our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team. You should not have to go through this alone.