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Child Support Considerations for Divorcing Parents with Special Needs Children 

 Posted on January 23, 2023 in Child Support

DuPage County child support attorneyAt the core of many divorces is the question: how will the divorce affect our children? This question is even more pressing when it comes to divorcing parents who have children with disabilities. It is not uncommon for parents who are divorcing and have a child with disabilities to disagree on topics such as child support. There are situations where one parent may believe that the child is not disabled or is not as disabled as their spouse makes them out to be, while the other parent believes that their child is disabled and, therefore, will require additional child support to support the disabled child's needs. 

If you are a parent getting divorced and have a child that may qualify as having disabilities, consider contacting an attorney so you can understand your rights and have an attorney in your corner advocating for the best interests of you and your child.

When May Additional Child Support be Necessary? 

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has specific guidelines as to what reasons must be present for a judge to deviate from the usual statutory child support guidelines and order a parent to pay additional child support. These cases may include the following: 


  • Personal needs of the child – A child may have emotional, mental, or physical disabilities that are too much for one parent to take on alone. In these cases, additional child support may be an option to help the parent meet the child's needs. 


  • Un-reimbursable medical expenses – It is not uncommon for comprehensive health plans to require out-of-pocket costs for copays or deductibles. 


  • Educational needs of the child – If a child has a learning disability, they may require outside tutoring. In some cases, they may require additional resources as well.


Suppose a judge decides to depart from the statutory guidelines. In that case, the judge will need to state what the statutory amount would have been and what specific findings made the judge deviate from the statutory child support amount order. 

What Type of Evidence is Required? 

Most parents want the best for their children. However, when it comes to divorcing parents, it is not unusual for them to disagree on what exactly the "best" means. In cases where additional support is being requested due to a child having a disability, it will likely be required that a written diagnosis from an independent and qualified professional be presented to the court. Furthermore, it may be preferred that the independent and capable professional recommend a course of treatment that is appropriate for the child. If a parent wishes to have their own evaluation of the child's needs, it may be granted. However, the judge will likely require the requesting party to pay for the assessment out of their pocket. Additional evidence, like testimony from the child's teachers or other school personnel, or the child's medical records, may also be requested. 

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Attorney

It is our steadfast belief that no child with special needs ought to generate undue financial burden for one parent through no fault of their own because of a disability they may have. Therefore, the Naperville, IL, child custody lawyers at Pesce Law Group, P.C. will work tirelessly to help ensure your child support needs are met to the fullest possible extent. Call 630-352-2240 for a free consultation. 


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