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Am I Entitled to Child Support for an Adult Child with Disabilities?

Posted on in Child Support

Naperville family attorneyTypically, child support is paid by the obligor parent until the child reaches 18 years old and graduates high school. If the child attends college, child support may continue during his or her undergraduate education. It is usually assumed that once a child reaches adulthood, he or she will move out of his or her parent’s home and become financially self-supporting. However, a child with disabilities may not be able to reach this level of independence at any age. If you have a child with a mental or physical disability, you may be entitled to receive child support payments even after he or she is no longer a minor.  

Defining Disability For the Purposes of Non-Minor Child Support

The costs of raising a child – especially a child with special needs – can be overwhelming. If your child suffers from a medical condition that reduces his or her independence, you may worry about how you will cover these costs without assistance from your child’s other parent. Fortunately, Illinois courts may continue a child support order past the typical termination date if the child has a disability. Illinois defines a disability as a mental, psychological, or physical impairment that considerably limits a child’s ability to make sound decisions and care for himself or herself. Developmental disorders like autism spectrum disorder as well as physical handicaps may qualify a child for continuing support.  To receive non-minor child support, the disability must have been diagnosed while the child was eligible for traditional child support.

Petitioning the Court for Continued Child Support

In order to ensure that you will continue receiving child support once your child turns 18 and/or graduates high school, you will need to file a petition for non-minor support with the court. When deciding whether or not to grant your request, the court will consider:

  • You and your spouse’s financial resources including your requirement benefits;

  • The child’s own financial resources, if any;

  • The child’s eligibility for benefits such as Social Security; and

  • The standard of living the child would have experienced if you and your child’s other parent were together.

If the child is living at home, the money an obligor parent pays in non-minor child support may be paid directly to the parent who cares for the child the majority of the time. The money may also be placed in a special needs trust for the child’s benefit.

Contact a Naperville Child Support Lawyer

If you would like to learn more about non-minor child support in Illinois or you are ready to file a petition for continuing child support, contact Pesce Family Law. Our DuPage County family law attorneys are well acquainted with Illinois child support laws and the obstacles many parents face when they request non-minor support. Call our office at 630-352-2240 and schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your concerns.



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