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Can Child Support Orders Be Extended Past Age 18 if the Child Has a Disability?

 Posted on January 31, 2020 in Child Support

Naperville family law attorneysIllinois law requires parents to financially contribute to their child’s upbringing. In the case of unmarried or divorced parents, this most often involves child support payments. Typically, child support payments are terminated when a child reaches eighteen years of age and is therefore legally an adult. The now-adult child is expected to start taking responsibility for himself or herself and make his or her own money. However, if the child suffers from a disability, he or she may be unable to do so. In situations like these, child support payments may be extended past the typical time period.

Disabilities That Qualify for Extended Child Support

Both mental and physical disabilities can qualify a person for child support after he is an adult. Section 513.5 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) states that when an individual’s mental or physical impairment “substantially limits a major life activity,” he or she is considered to be disabled. These impairments may include psychiatric conditions, developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, and physical handicaps. Any impairment that directly affects the child’s ability to perform daily living tasks may qualify the child for extended child support.

Factors Considered by Illinois Courts

In order for a child to remain eligible for child support as an adult, the disability must have been diagnosed by a medical professional or otherwise discovered while the child was eligible for regular child support. The court may determine that one or both parents are obligated to continue financially supporting the disabled adult. Decisions about child support for a disabled adult are made with consideration to:

  • The child’s own financial resources
  • The child’s eligibility for Social Security benefits, home-based programs, and other public or private aid
  • Each parent’s income, retirement provisions, and overall financial circumstances  

These are only some of the factors that may influence whether or not your child will continue receiving court-ordered support after he or she is an adult. For more personalized information specific to your unique situation, contact an experienced family law attorney.

Contact Naperville Child Support Lawyer

Child support concerns regarding a disabled adult are often complex and may require input from a variety of professionals including doctors, behavioral health specialists, and financial professionals. To learn more about child support for a disabled child, speak with a DuPage County family law attorney from Pesce Law Group, P.C. today. Call our office at 630-352-2240 today to schedule a free consultation.



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